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Applications of Cell Surface Engineering in Erythrocytes

Erythrocytes, also known as red blood cells (RBCs), can be easily loaded with different therapeutic molecules with high efficiency or attached to various types of functional nanoparticles for applications in drug delivery and biomedical imaging. Creative Biolabs has been a long-term expert in the field of cell surface conjugate development. Based on our advanced technology platforms and extensive experience, our seasoned scientists have set up a series of one-stop procedures which can assist your erythrocyte surface engineering with the highest efficiency and the best quality for various type of applications.

Erythrocyte-based Conjugates for Drug Delivery

Erythrocytes have been extensively explored for drug delivery. Erythrocytes are far more extensive and show more excellent intravascular retention, i.e., longer life-span in the circulation than other carriers that might be useful for therapeutic drug delivery. Coupling various therapeutic or imaging agents to erythrocytes can dramatically prolong the circulation and enhance their bioavailability in the blood. These rationales have motivated attempts to use erythrocytes as prime candidates for use as potential biocompatible carriers for intravascular drug delivery through covalent attachment of the drug to the erythrocyte surface.

Erythrocyte-based drug delivery. Fig.1 Erythrocyte-based drug delivery. (Murciano, 2003)

Erythrocyte Membrane Engineering for Drug Delivery

Drug-delivery systems based on various types of well-engineered nanoparticles have been extensively explored in recent years. However, their applications are limited by rapid clearance from circulation by the reticuloendothelial system (RES), thereby resulting in toxicity concerns and limiting the dose available for the pathological zone. To overcome these limitations, erythrocyte membrane-cloaked polymeric nanoparticles represent an emerging nanocarrier platform. Erythrocyte attachment dramatically increases the circulation time of nanoparticles compared to unbound nanoparticles. Additionally, the size of nanoparticles that could be kept in circulation for extended periods is increased. Therefore, bridging the complex surface biochemistry of nature's carriers, erythrocytes, with the versatile cargo-carrying capacity of polymeric nanoparticles, an erythrocyte membrane-cloaked nanoparticle platform represents a new class of bio-inspired nanocarriers with long-circulating capability.

Erythrocyte membrane engineering for drug delivery. Fig.2 Erythrocyte membrane engineering for drug delivery. (Wang, 2014)

With our extensive experience and advanced platform, Creative Biolabs is confident in offering the best cell surface engineering services for our global customers. If you would like to know more about cell surface engineering applications, please get in touch with us.


  1. Murciano, J.C.; et al. Prophylactic fibrinolysis through selective dissolution of nascent clots by tPA-carrying erythrocytes. Nature biotechnology. 2003, 21(8), pp.891-896.
  2. Wang, C.; et al. Multifunctional theranostic red blood cells for magnetic‐field‐enhanced in vivo combination therapy of cancer. Advanced Materials. 2014, 26(28), pp.4794-4802.

All services are only provided for research purposes and Not for clinical use.

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