A cytoprotective and degradable metal-polyphenol nanoshell for single-cell encapsulation

Ji Hun Park, Kyunghwan Kim, Juno Lee, Ji Yu Choi, Daewha Hong, Sung Ho Yang, Frank Caruso, Younghoon Lee, Insung S. Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

251 Scopus citations


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".

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12420-12425
Number of pages6
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number46
StatePublished - 10 Nov 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


  • Artificial spores
  • Cytoprotection
  • Encapsulation
  • Organic-inorganic hybrid composites
  • Tannic acid


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