APP NOTE: Transforming cells

Key to cell biology is the ability to introduce exogenous DNA into cells, but physicochemical methods such as transfection or electroporation often exhibit low efficiencies and can lead to cell damage.

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WESTWOOD, Mass.—Key to cell biology is the ability to introduce exogenous DNA into cells, but physicochemical methods such as transfection or electroporation often exhibit low efficiencies and can lead to cell damage. And the alternative, microinjection, suffers from low throughput, with several hundred to a thousand cells transformed per day, and can only handle cells that adhere to surfaces.
 
Recently, however, researchers at Fujitsu Computer Systems' BioSciences Group introduced an automated microinjection system with significantly improved results. They presented their system in a white paper. The Cellinjector relies on a perforated silicon chip that captures 1043 cells from suspension using negative pressure. These cells can then be microinjected in high-throughput.
 
With a murine leukemic cell line microinjected with a GFP plasmid, the researchers achieved a capture efficiency of 75 percent with no significant impact on cell viability. And fluorescence indicated that 68 percent of the captured cells were successfully microinjected and almost all of these cells expressed GFP. This resulted in an overall efficiency of almost 50 percent, or double the average of other methods.


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