Genetic intervention techniques, such as gene silencing and gene expression, are important in many facets of healthcare and research. However, a major challenge in the above applications is the efficient transfection of primary cells lines such as neurons. Non-viral transfection methods are widely used in both in vitro and in vivo systems; however, these methods are less effective in neuronal cells. Improved transfection strategies that are consistent, highly efficient, and which preserve cell viability would be a boon to many fields of medicine and research.
Researchers at Arizona State University have developed novel methods using nanostructures and voltage-controlled chemical transfection for scalable, targeted delivery of nucleic acid constructs, proteins, and drug molecules into desired cells or neurons in vitro. These strategies have high efficiency rates, very low impacts on cell viability, are minimally affected by cell density, and allow a graded level of gene expression inhibition. Moreover, these methods allow for simultaneous transfection and assessment of phenotypical responses at cellular and network levels, in real time and in a high-throughput (HTP) fashion.
These novel transfection strategies increase the possibilities for difficult-to-transfect cells and allow for greater control and real-time assessment of gene expression modulation.
- Efficient and consistent transfection of difficult-to-transfect cells
- Tunable gene expression
- Gene therapy in neurodegenerative disease and cancer
- Target identification and validation in drug discovery
- Deveelopment of HTP screening systems for large libraries of siRNA molecules
- Developemnt of HTP living cell assays
- Gene therapeutic assessment
Benefits and Advantages
- Rapid, consistent and repeatable process
- The entire protocol takes less than 10 minutes
- Can be scaled to easily realize HTP living cell arrays
- Simultaneous transfection and assessment of cells
- Allows for spatial targeting of cells so that multiple molecular candidates can be simultaneously assessed on the same platform
- Cell viability is virtually unaffected
- Approximately 4-times increase in cell loading of siRNA