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Nature regulates cellular interactions through the cell-surface molecules and plasma membranes. Despite advances in cell-surface engineering with diverse ligands and reactive groups, modulating cell-cell interactions through scaffolds of the cell-binding cues remains a challenging endeavor. Here, we assembled peptide nanofibrils on live cell surfaces to present the ligands that bind to the target cells. Surprisingly, with the same ligands, reducing the thermal stability of the nanofibrils promoted cellular interactions. Characterizations of the system revealed a thermally induced fibril disassembly and reassembly pathway that facilitated the complexation of the fibrils with the cells. Using the nanofibrils of varied stabilities, the cell-cell interaction was promoted to different extents with free-to-bound cell conversion ratios achieved at low (31%), medium (54%), and high (93%) levels. This study expands the toolbox to generate desired cell behaviors for applications in many areas and highlights the merits of thermally less stable nanoassemblies in designing functional materials.


Pan Guo, Di Wang, Shumin Zhang, Dan Cheng, Siyu Wu, Xiaobing Zuo, Yun-Bao Jiang, Tao Jiang. Reassembly of Peptide Nanofibrils on Live Cell Surfaces Promotes Cell-Cell Interactions. Nano letters. 2023 Jul 26;23(14):6386-6392

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PMID: 37399537

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