Stem cell membrane-coated abiotic nanomaterials for biomedical applications

Inês Ferreira-Faria, Satar Yousefiasl, Ana Macário-Soares, Miguel Pereira-Silva, Diana Peixoto, Hajra Zafar, Faisal Raza, Henrique Faneca, Francisco Veiga, Michael R. Hamblin, Franklin R. Tay, Jianqing Gao, Esmaeel Sharifi, Pooyan Makvandi, Ana Cláudia Paiva-Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Nanoscale materials have been extensively employed for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. However, the developed nanosystems still suffer from some limitations, namely the rapid elimination by the immune system, lack of targeting to specific cells, and insufficient biocompatibility. Therefore, novel strategies based upon a biomimetic approach have received attention to improving the pharmacokinetics and safety profile of nanosystems. One promising strategy is the application of a biomimetic coating consisting of cell membranes derived from different cell types onto nanoparticle cores. Stem cells have been investigated to develop targeted nanodevices owing to their excellent intrinsic tissue-specific homing features, protecting them from the immune system to reach the sites of inflammation. This targeting ability is conferred by a surface repertoire of stem cell-associated biomolecules. Such nanoscopical materials offer sustained circulation and boosted drug accumulation at target sites, augmenting therapeutic efficacy and safety. Additionally, the coating of nanoparticles with cell membranes acts as a camouflage mechanism to increase their circulation time. The current review explores the particular features of stem cell membrane coating as multifunctional biomimetic surface functionalization agents to camouflage nanoparticle cores. Biomedical applications of engineered stem cell membrane-coated nanoparticles, challenges in clinical translation, and their future prospects are addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-197
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Biomimetic
  • Cancer
  • Nanotechnology
  • Protein corona
  • Targeted delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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