The research community is intent on harnessing increasingly complex biological building blocks. At present, cells represent a highly functional component for integration into higher order systems. In this review, we discuss the current application space for cellular coating technologies and emphasize the relationship between the target application and coating design. We also discuss how the cell and the coating interact in common analytical techniques, and where caution must be exercised in the interpretation of results. Finally, we look ahead at emerging application areas that are ideal for innovation in cellular coatings. In all, cellular coatings leverage the machinery unique to specific cell types, and the opportunities derived from these hybrid assemblies have yet to be fully realized.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in Journal of Biological Engineering, v. 13, article no. 5, p. 1-28.

© The Author(s). 2019

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Funding Information

This work was partially supported by R01 HL127682–01 and the National Science Foundation under Awards CBET-1351531 and CBET-1758210.