• Engineering cell surfaces with polyelectrolyte materials for translational applications

      Zhang, P.; Bookstaver, M.L.; Jewell, C.M. (MDPI AG, 2017)
      Engineering cell surfaces with natural or synthetic materials is a unique and powerful strategy for biomedical applications. Cells exhibit more sophisticated migration, control, and functional capabilities compared to nanoparticles, scaffolds, viruses, and other engineered materials or agents commonly used in the biomedical field. Over the past decade, modification of cell surfaces with natural or synthetic materials has been studied to exploit this complexity for both fundamental and translational goals. In this review we present the existing biomedical technologies for engineering cell surfaces with one important class of materials, polyelectrolytes. We begin by introducing the challenges facing the cell surface engineering field. We then discuss the features of polyelectrolytes and how these properties can be harnessed to solve challenges in cell therapy, tissue engineering, cell-based drug delivery, sensing and tracking, and immune modulation. Throughout the review, we highlight opportunities to drive the field forward by bridging new knowledge of polyelectrolytes with existing translational challenges. Copyright 2017 by the authors.
    • Engineering self-assembled materials to study and direct immune function

      Tostanoski, L.H.; Jewell, C.M. (Elsevier B.V., 2017)
      The immune system is an awe-inspiring control structure that maintains a delicate and constantly changing balance between pro-immune functions that fight infection and cancer, regulatory or suppressive functions involved in immune tolerance, and homeostatic resting states. These activities are determined by integrating signals in space and time; thus, improving control over the densities, combinations, and durations with which immune signals are delivered is a central goal to better combat infectious disease, cancer, and autoimmunity. Self-assembly presents a unique opportunity to synthesize materials with well-defined compositions and controlled physical arrangement of molecular building blocks. This review highlights strategies exploiting these capabilities to improve the understanding of how precisely-displayed cues interact with immune cells and tissues. We present work centered on fundamental properties that regulate the nature and magnitude of immune response, highlight pre-clinical and clinical applications of self-assembled technologies in vaccines, cancer, and autoimmunity, and describe some of the key manufacturing and regulatory hurdles facing these areas. Copyright 2017 The Authors