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In the past decade, versatile micro- and nanosized machines have emerged as active agents for large-scale detoxification, sensing, microfabrication, and many other promising applications. Micromachines have also been envisioned as the next advancement in dynamic therapy with numerous proof-of-concept studies in drug delivery, microsurgery, and detoxification. However, the practical use of synthetic micromotors in the body requires the development of fully biocompatible designs facilitating micromotor movement in biological fluids of diverse composition and displaying desired functions in specific locations. The combination of the efficient movement of synthetic micromotors with the biological functions of natural cells has resulted in cell-like micromotors with expanded therapeutic and toxin-removing capabilities toward different biological applications. Thus, these biocompatible and biomimetic cell-like micromotors can provide efficient movement in complex biofluids and mimic the functionalities of natural cells. This Account highlights a variety of recent proof-of-concept examples of cell-like micromotors, based on different designs and actuation mechanisms, which perform diverse in vivo tasks. The cell-like micromotors are divided into two groups: (i) cell membrane-coated micromotors, which use natural cell membranes derived from red blood cells, platelets, or a combination of different cells to cloak and functionalize synthetic motors, and (ii) cell-based micromotors, which directly use entire cells such as blood cells, spermatozoa, and bacteria as the micromotor engine. Cell-like micromotors, composed of different cellular components and actuated by different mechanisms, have shown unique advantages for operation in complex biofluids such as blood. Due to the inherent biocompatibility of cell-derived materials, these cell-like micromotors do not provoke an immune response while utilizing useful secondary functions of the blood cells such as strong ability to soak up foreign agents or bind toxins. Additionally, the utilization of autonomously motile cells (e.g., bacteria) allows for built-in chemotactic motion, which eliminates the need for harmful fuels or complex actuation equipment. Furthermore, a broad range of cells, both passive and motile, can be incorporated into micromachine designs constituting a large library of functional components depending on the limits of the desired application. The coupling of cellular and artificial components has led to active biohybrid swimming microsystems with greatly enhanced capabilities and functionalities compared to the individual biological or synthetic components. These characteristics have positioned these cell-like micromotors as promising biomimetic dynamic tools for potential actuation in vivo. Finally, the key challenges and limitations of cell-like micromotors are discussed in the context of expanded future clinical uses and translation to human trials.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Accounts of chemical research
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The mechanisms by which a cell becomes internalized in another. The host cell may engulf another as do PHAGOCYTIC CELLS, or the host cell may be invaded by another cell (ENTOSIS), or internalization processes may involve the cooperation of both the host cell and the cell being internalized. Viable cells may remain in non-phagocytic cells (EMPERIPOLESIS), undergo cell division, pass through and then out of the host cell (TRANSCELLULAR CELL MIGRATION), or trigger APOPTOSIS of the invaded cell.
The decrease in the cell's ability to proliferate with the passing of time. Each cell is programmed for a certain number of cell divisions and at the end of that time proliferation halts. The cell enters a quiescent state after which it experiences CELL DEATH via the process of APOPTOSIS.
The phenomenon of antibody-mediated target cell destruction by non-sensitized effector cells. The identity of the target cell varies, but it must possess surface IMMUNOGLOBULIN G whose Fc portion is intact. The effector cell is a "killer" cell possessing Fc receptors. It may be a lymphocyte lacking conventional B- or T-cell markers, or a monocyte, macrophage, or polynuclear leukocyte, depending on the identity of the target cell. The reaction is complement-independent.
Cell surface proteins that bind signalling molecules external to the cell with high affinity and convert this extracellular event into one or more intracellular signals that alter the behavior of the target cell (From Alberts, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2nd ed, pp693-5). Cell surface receptors, unlike enzymes, do not chemically alter their ligands.
Surface ligands that mediate cell-to-cell adhesion and function in the assembly and interconnection of the vertebrate nervous system. These molecules promote cell adhesion via a homophilic mechanism. These are not to be confused with NEURAL CELL ADHESION MOLECULES, now known to be expressed in a variety of tissues and cell types in addition to nervous tissue.
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