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J Vis Exp. 2013 Nov 7;(81):e50980. doi: 10.3791/50980.

Cell squeezing as a robust, microfluidic intracellular delivery platform.

Author information

  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Abstract

Rapid mechanical deformation of cells has emerged as a promising, vector-free method for intracellular delivery of macromolecules and nanomaterials. This technology has shown potential in addressing previously challenging applications; including, delivery to primary immune cells, cell reprogramming, carbon nanotube, and quantum dot delivery. This vector-free microfluidic platform relies on mechanical disruption of the cell membrane to facilitate cytosolic delivery of the target material. Herein, we describe the detailed method of use for these microfluidic devices including, device assembly, cell preparation, and system operation. This delivery approach requires a brief optimization of device type and operating conditions for previously unreported applications. The provided instructions are generalizable to most cell types and delivery materials as this system does not require specialized buffers or chemical modification/conjugation steps. This work also provides recommendations on how to improve device performance and trouble-shoot potential issues related to clogging, low delivery efficiencies, and cell viability.

PMID:
24300077
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3976289
[Available on 2014/11/7]
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