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Nat Commun. 2014 Jul 29;5:4466. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5466.

Poking cells for efficient vector-free intracellular delivery.

Author information

1
Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR 999077, China.
2
Center of Super-Diamond and Advanced Films (COSDAF) and Department of Physics and Materials Science, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR 999077, China.
3
Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR 999077, China.
4
1] Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR 999077, China [2] Shenzhen Research Institute, City University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen 518057, China.

Abstract

Techniques for introducing foreign molecules and materials into living cells are of great value in cell biology research. A major barrier for intracellular delivery is to cross the cell membrane. Here we demonstrate a novel platform utilizing diamond nanoneedle arrays to facilitate efficient vector-free cytosolic delivery. Using our technique, cellular membrane is deformed by an array of nanoneedles with a force on the order of a few nanonewtons. We show that this technique is applicable to deliver a broad range of molecules and materials into different types of cells, including primary neurons in adherent culture. Especially, for delivering plasmid DNAs into neurons, our technique produces at least eightfold improvement (~45% versus ~1-5%) in transfection efficiency with a dramatically shorter experimental protocol, when compared with the commonly used lipofection approach. It is anticipated that our technique will greatly benefit basic research in cell biology and also a wide variety of clinical applications.

PMID:
25072981
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms5466
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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