Live cell surface functionalization has been increasingly explored in recent years because of its emerging bio- medical and therapeutic applications. Known methods to functionalize live-cell surface includes time-consuming metabolic docking of non-natural functional groups on cell surfaces that are hard to use. Here, we report an easy and direct functionalization method for cell surface and cell-cell conjugation utilizing native phosphate groups on cell membranes. We used three-dimensional single-molecule localization microscopy to confirm that the chemical conjugate binds preferentially on the cell surface. We show an application of this method for live-cell imaging and enhancement of cell-cell interaction leading to increased T cell proliferation. Our simple and reversible cell-conjugation strategy would be widely useful to explore and optimize cell-cell contact-based proliferation for any cell-based therapeutic applications.
New experiments and synthetic conjugates including super resolution microscopy