Click Reaction for Reversible Encapsulation of Single Yeast Cells

Wei Geng, Nan Jiang, Guang Yan Qing, Xiaolong Liu, Li Wang, Henk J. Busscher, Ge Tian, Taolei Sun, Li Wang, Yunuen Montelongo, Christoph Janiak, Guo Zhang, Xiao Yu Yang, Bao Lian Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cell surface engineering is an emerging technology to encapsulate cells in order to enhance their functions. However, methods for reversible encapsulation of cells with abiotic functionalities are rare. Herein, we describe a phenylboronic acid based click reaction for encapsulation of single yeast cells using mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs). This encapsulation does not impact natural growth of the cells and leads to a significant enhancement of cell survival in a variety of hostile environments. Owing to the glucose-responsiveness of the boronate ester bond between cell surface polysaccharides and B(OH)2-grafted MSNs, encapsulation was reversible by addition or removal of glucose. This effort offers living cells effective protection under harsh conditions and enables reversible assembling-detaching of abiotic functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14459-14467
Number of pages9
JournalACS nano
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 2019


  • cell protection
  • cell stability
  • click reaction
  • directed chemistry
  • hierarchical assembly
  • mesoporous materials
  • reversible encapsulation


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