"Cyborg-Cells" is not a new fantasy blockbuster of cybernetic beings but the title of a purely scientific review article of the Institute of Basic Medicine and Biology of Kazan University which was published in the journal «Chemical Society Reviews». The full title of the article reads - "Cyborgs-cells: functioning of living cells with polymers and nanomaterials» (http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/ 2012/cs/c2cs15264a).
Equally unusual is the illustration to the article. Unlike boring schemes, it depicts a cell that flaunts flirtatiously in front of a mirror watching the reflection of its body in arranged nanoparticles.
The authors of the article are Doctor of Science in Biology and Senior Lecturer Rawil Fakhrullin, Candidate of Science in Biology Alsu Zamaleeva, post-graduate student Renata Minullina, first year master student Konnova Svetlana and Dr. Vesselin Paunov from the UK.
Rawil Fakhrullin: “This article analyzes key scientific publications on the subject. It systematizes experimental data on the cell surface modification using polymers and / or nanoparticles. It also considers the practical aspect of functionalized cells. Each of the authors has done a number of fundamental experimental studies which are also reflected in this publication."
Orlin D. Velev
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7905
I was very intrigued to read the Chem. Soc. Rev. publication of Prof. Rawil Fakhrullin and collaborators on the emerging field of creatively combining live cells and synthetic particles in innovative materials and device prototypes. These authors review a highly advanced program, where they have managed to obtain a large body of interestingresults on the bubble- and particle-mediated assembly of live cells into new “supraparticle” and “cellosome” structures. They have also developed new techniques for making and investigating magnetically responsive cell-particle assemblies, biosensor elements and “smart” soft matter. I am impressed by their ability to creatively combine knowledge and methods from a few different science fields in to materials combining biology with nanoscience. They have obtained impressive results onbiocolloidal assembly and have reviewed extensively the formation and application of innovative structures and biomaterials from live cells. I am glad to see these collaborators’ dedication to original and groundbreaking research.
Professor Gleb Sukhorukov, Quenn Mary, University of London, UK
I really enjoyed reading the paper by Fakhrullin et al in Chemical Society Reviews. What was particularly I loved is that this is the first sort of review I met which summaries recent achievents on living cells encapsulation and entrappment in a number of polymer and composite shells. Also, advantages and downsides and foreseen obstacles are well considered. What is also essential is that the subtantial number of work cited are the own work of the authors which position them as a leading group in the field. It was really positively surprising to me that the review is coming out of authors most of them having Russian affiliation, which is very rare the case today as science in Russia is well behind in area of bio-related science and by this review reflecting their prior original work one has a ground to say we have group in Russia which is one world leading on particular area of cell encapsulation.
Prof. Insung S. Choi
Director, Center for Cell-Encapsulation Research
Department of Chemistry and Department of Bio and Brain Engineering
KAIST, Daejeon 305-701, Republic of Korea
The review paper published in Chemical Society Reviews, by Prof. Rawil Fakhrullin, is an excellent piece of work, which covers a comprehensive overview of cell/nanomaterial hybrid structures. The area of cell/nanomaterial (including polymers) hybrids is the newly emerging research field that would have a huge impact to fundamental researches, such as single-cell biology and cell-to-cell communications, as well as to applications, such as cell-based sensors, high-throughput screening, and cell therapy. Albeit its importance, there have been no comprehensive reviews on the field, and this tutorial is a timely report, which would be a great source to the researchers. This review paper is also the right one for those who are interested in the fields and start their research in chemistry/biology, because it contains the useful information on the interfaces between living cells and artificial materials. In addition, this tutorial review is a right teaching material for senior undergraduates whose major is chemistry- or biology-related.