In Vivo Applications
An exciting transfection milestone is development of RNAi transfection tools for use in research applications as well as for the delivery of new biologics as therapeutic modalities.
“Small molecules, like RNAi, are less difficult to transfect than DNA, which needs to enter the nucleus, typically, when the cell is dividing. RNA just needs to get into the cytoplasm, eliminating a step in the transfection process,” said Xavier de Mollerat du Jeu, Ph.D., senior staff scientist, molecular biology, Life Technologies. “RNAi transfection, in general, works for more cells lines, primary cells and in vivo.”
Previously, there were no tools to deliver RNAi in vivo. Invivofectamine 2.0, a lipid-based RNA transfection system that protects the nucleic acid from degradation in the bloodstream, allows researchers to deliver RNAi to small animal models, such as mice and rats, and to directly perform functional and biologic analysis. In vivo transfection technology opens the door to rapid design and production of knockout animals facilitating genomic and proteomic research.
“Transfection technology development will continue. In addition to primary, stem cells and in vivo applications, efforts also need to focus on plant and algae cells. These systems have yet to be optimized,” added Dr. de Mollerat du Jeu.