The increasing demand for efficient transfection reflects the expanding applications for such technology. Introducing foreign DNA or RNA into mammalian cells has become fundamental for analyzing gene function, producing recombinant gene products, and devising strategies for gene therapy.
Successful results rely on the transfection method. Transfection of hard-to-transfect cells through common methods such as calcium phosphate, liposome-based reagent, and conventional electroporation, however, are problematic because of low transfection efficiency and low cell viability. Also, even though viral methods are efficient, they are time consuming to set up and are not cost effective.
To overcome these disadvantages, a novel electroporation technology called microporation has been developed, which provides high-efficiency transfection results. Microporation uses a specially designed handheld pipette-type device and specially designed pipette tips that utilize a capillary instead of a cuvette chamber.
The technology provides uniform electrical pulses delivered to samples ranging in volume from 10 µl to 100 µl using the pipette-tip electrodes. This method significantly improves transfection efficiency and cell viability versus the traditional cuvette-type sample chambers.
The potential harmful side effects that are caused by cuvette-type electroporation like pH variation, temperature increase, turbulence, and metal ion generation were eliminated by using the pipette technology. Thus, microporation provides an easier, more efficient, and reproducible way to work with hard-to-transfect cells.
Cell Lines, Primary Cells, and Hard-to-Transfect Cells
A number of transfection methods for mammalian cells are available. Many cell lines and primary cells, however, cannot be transfected efficiently or require time-consuming optimization procedures of the recommended protocols.