Protective Polymer Coatings for High-Throughput, High-Purity Cellular Isolation

Gabriela Romero, Jacob J. Lilly, Nathan S. Abraham, Hainsworth Y. Shin, Vivek Balasubramaniam, Tadahide Izumi, Brad J. Berron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Cell-based therapies are emerging as the next frontier of medicine, offering a plausible path forward in the treatment of many devastating diseases. Critically, current methods for antigen positive cell sorting lack a high throughput method for delivering ultrahigh purity populations, prohibiting the application of some cell-based therapies to widespread diseases. Here we show the first use of targeted, protective polymer coatings on cells for the high speed enrichment of cells. Individual, antigen-positive cells are coated with a biocompatible hydrogel which protects the cells from a surfactant solution, while uncoated cells are immediately lysed. After lysis, the polymer coating is removed through orthogonal photochemistry, and the isolate has >50% yield of viable cells and these cells proliferate at rates comparable to control cells. Minority cell populations are enriched from erythrocyte-depleted blood to >99% purity, whereas the entire batch process requires 1 h and <$2000 in equipment. Batch scale-up is only contingent on irradiation area for the coating photopolymerization, as surfactant-based lysis can be easily achieved on any scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17598-17602
Number of pages5
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 19 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Chemical Society.


  • cell isolation
  • coatings
  • photopolymerization
  • polymer
  • protein expression
  • sorting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Protective Polymer Coatings for High-Throughput, High-Purity Cellular Isolation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this