Single-cell encapsulation promises the cytoprotection of the encased cells against lethal stressors, reminiscent of the sporulation process in nature. However, the development of a cytocompatible method for chemically mimicking the germination process (i.e., shell degradation on-demand) has been elusive, despite the shell degradation being pivotal for the practical use of functional cells as well as for single cell-based biology. We report that an artificial shell, composed of tannic acid (TA) and FeIII, on individual Saccharomyces cerevisiae controllably degrades on-demand, while protecting the yeast from multiple external aggressors, including UV-C irradiation, lytic enzymes, and silver nanoparticles. Cell division is suppressed by the TA-FeIII shell, but restored fully upon shell degradation. The formation of a TA-FeIII shell would provide a versatile tool for achieving the chemical version of "sporulation and germination".
- Artificial spores
- Organic-inorganic hybrid composites
- Tannic acid