Magnetic functionalization of living cells has intensively been investigated with the aim of various bioapplications such as selective separation, targeting, and localization of the cells by using an external magnetic field. However, the magnetism has not been introduced to individual living cells through the in situ chemical reactions because of harsh conditions required for synthesis of magnetic materials. In this work, magnetic iron oxide was formed on the surface of living cells by optimizing reactions conditions to be mild sufficiently enough to sustain cell viability. Specifically, the reactive LbL strategy led to formation of magnetically responsive yeast cells with iron oxide shells. This facile and direct post-magnetization method would be a useful tool for remote manipulation of living cells with magnetic interactions, which is an important technique for the integration of cell-based circuits and the isolation of cell in microfluidic devices. (C) 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.