Biomolecules (e.g., proteins, DNA) can be chemically modified to provide new structures or functionalities. We have previously created artificial membrane-binding proteins that could endow cells with new functional properties:
Oxygenation of Cartilage Tissue
We developed cell-binding myoglobin conjugates that could oxygenate mesenchymal stem cells and reduce heterogeneous matrix formation during cartilage tissue engineering (link: Nature Communications 2015). This is linked to my research activity in tissue engineering.
Ultra-fast Cell Magnetization
This study was performed in collaboration with Dr Sara Carreira during her PhD at the University of Bristol. We showed that chemical cationization of magnetoferritin could be used to rapidly magnetize cells for magnetic resonance imaging (link: Nanoscale 2016, JoVE 2016). This is linked to my research activity in magnetic manipulation.
Magnetization of DNA and Proteins
This study was led by Dr Paul Brown during his PhD at the University of Bristol. We conjugated magnetic surfactants to DNA and proteins to create magnetically-susceptible biomolecules (link: Advanced Materials 2013). This is linked to my research activity in magnetic manipulation.
You can find out more about these topics in our recent reviews, which discuss the use of modified proteins to functionalize cells (Experimental Biology & Medicine 2016) and extracellular vesicles (ACS Nano 2017).