Nano-biolistics: a method of biolistic transfection of cells and tissues using a gene gun with novel nanometer-sized projectiles
O'Brien, John A
Lummis, Sarah C R
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O'Brien, J. A., & Lummis, S. C. R. (2011). Nano-biolistics: a method of biolistic transfection of cells and tissues using a gene gun with novel nanometer-sized projectiles.
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Abstract Background Biolistic transfection is proving an increasingly popular method of incorporating DNA or RNA into cells that are difficult to transfect using traditional methods. The technique routinely uses 'microparticles', which are ~1 μm diameter projectiles, fired into tissues using pressurised gas. These microparticles are efficient at delivering DNA into cells, but cannot efficiently transfect small cells and may cause significant tissue damage, thus limiting their potential usefulness. Here we describe the use of 40 nm diameter projectiles - nanoparticles - in biolistic transfections to determine if they are a suitable alternative to microparticles. Results Examination of transfection efficiencies in HEK293 cells, using a range of conditions including different DNA concentrations and different preparation procedures, reveals similar behaviour of microparticles and nanoparticles. The use of nanoparticles, however, resulted in ~30% fewer damaged HEK293 cells following transfection. Biolistic transfection of mouse ear tissue revealed similar depth penetration for the two types of particles, and also showed that < 10% of nuclei were damaged in nanoparticle-transfected samples, compared to > 20% in microparticle-transfected samples. Visualising details of small cellular structures was also considerably enhanced when using nanoparticles. Conclusions We conclude that nanoparticles are as efficient for biolistic transfection as microparticles, and are more appropriate for use in small cells, when examining cellular structures and/or where tissue damage is a problem.
This record's URL: http://www.dspace.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/238545
Rights Holder: O'Brien et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.