Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.142, No.19, 8800-8808, 2020
Programming Cell-Cell Communications with Engineered Cell Origami Clusters
Cells existing in the form of clusters often exhibit distinct physiological functions from their monodispersed forms, which have a close association with tissue and organ development, immunoresponses, and cancer metastasis. Nevertheless, the ability to construct artificial cell clusters as in vitro models for probing and manipulating intercellular communications remains limited. Here we design DNA origami nanostructure (DON)-based biomimetic membrane channels to organize cell origami clusters (COCs) with controlled geometric configuration and cell-cell communications. We demonstrate that programmable patterning of homotypic and heterotypic COCs with different configurations can result in three distinct types of intercellular communications: gap junctions, tunneling nanotubes, and immune/tumor cell interactions. In particular, the organization of T cells and cancer cells with a prescribed ratio and geometry can program in vitro immunoresponses, providing a new route to understanding and engineering cancer immunotherapy.