Macrophage Cell Membrane-Cloaked Nanoplatforms for Biomedical Applications

Joana Lopes, Daniela Lopes, Miguel Pereira-Silva, Diana Peixoto, Francisco Veiga, Michael R. Hamblin, João Conde, Claudia Corbo, Ehsan Nazarzadeh Zare, Milad Ashrafizadeh, Franklin R. Tay, Chengshui Chen, Ryan F. Donnelly, Xiangdong Wang, Pooyan Makvandi, Ana Cláudia Paiva-Santos

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Biomimetic approaches utilize natural cell membrane-derived nanovesicles to camouflage nanoparticles to circumvent some limitations of nanoscale materials. This emergent cell membrane-coating technology is inspired by naturally occurring intercellular interactions, to efficiently guide nanostructures to the desired locations, thereby increasing both therapeutic efficacy and safety. In addition, the intrinsic biocompatibility of cell membranes allows the crossing of biological barriers and avoids elimination by the immune system. This results in enhanced blood circulation time and lower toxicity in vivo. Macrophages are the major phagocytic cells of the innate immune system. They are equipped with a complex repertoire of surface receptors, enabling them to respond to biological signals, and to exhibit a natural tropism to inflammatory sites and tumorous tissues. Macrophage cell membrane-functionalized nanosystems are designed to combine the advantages of both macrophages and nanomaterials, improving the ability of those nanosystems to reach target sites. Recent studies have demonstrated the potential of these biomimetic nanosystems for targeted delivery of drugs and imaging agents to tumors, inflammatory, and infected sites. The present review covers the preparation and biomedical applications of macrophage cell membrane-coated nanosystems. Challenges and future perspectives in the development of these membrane-coated nanosystems are addressed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSmall Methods
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jun 2022


  • biointerfaces
  • biomimetic nanoparticles
  • cancer
  • cell membrane-coated nanosystems
  • inflammation
  • macrophages


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