Cell Membrane-Based Biomimetic Nanoparticles and the Immune System: Immunomodulatory Interactions to Therapeutic Applications

Manuela Sushnitha, Michael Evangelopoulos, Ennio Tasciotti, Francesca Taraballi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems have been synthesized from a wide array of materials. The therapeutic success of these platforms hinges upon their ability to favorably interact with the biological environment (both systemically and locally) and recognize the diseased target tissue. The immune system, composed of a highly coordinated organization of cells trained to recognize foreign bodies, represents a key mediator of these interactions. Although components of this system may act as a barrier to nanoparticle (NP) delivery, the immune system can also be exploited to target and trigger signaling cues that facilitate the therapeutic response stemming from systemic administration of NPs. The nano-bio interface represents the key facilitator of this communication exchange, where the surface properties of NPs govern their in vivo fate. Cell membrane-based biomimetic nanoparticles have emerged as one approach to achieve targeted drug delivery by actively engaging and communicating with the biological milieu. In this review, we will highlight the relationship between these biomimetic nanoparticles and the immune system, emphasizing the role of tuning the nano-bio interface in the immunomodulation of diseases. We will also discuss the therapeutic applications of this approach with biomimetic nanoparticles, focusing on specific diseases ranging from cancer to infectious diseases. Lastly, we will provide a critical evaluation on the current state of this field of cell membrane-based biomimetic nanoparticles and its future directions in immune-based therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number627
Pages (from-to)627
JournalFrontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
StatePublished - Jun 17 2020


  • biomimetic nanoparticles
  • drug delivery
  • immune system
  • immunomodulation
  • nano-bio interface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Histology
  • Biomedical Engineering


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