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Methods Mol Biol. 2015;1228:55-65. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-1680-1_6.

Au nanoinjectors for electrotriggered gene delivery into the cell nucleus.

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Department of Chemistry, KAIST, 291 Daehak-ro (373-1 Guseong-dong), Daejeon, 305-701, Korea.


Intracellular delivery of exogenous materials is an essential technique required for many fundamental biological researches and medical treatments. As our understanding of cell structure and function has been improved and diverse therapeutic agents with a subcellular site of action have been continuously developed, there is a demand to enhance the performance of delivering devices. Ideal intracellular delivery devices should convey various kinds of exogenous materials without deteriorating cell viability regardless of cell type and, furthermore, precisely control the location and the timing of delivery as well as the amount of delivered materials for advanced researches.In this chapter the development of a new intracellular delivery device, a nanoinjector made of a Au (gold) nanowire (a Au nanoinjector) is described in which delivery is triggered by external application of an electric pulse. As a model study, a gene was delivered directly into the nucleus of a neuroblastoma cell, and successful delivery without cell damage was confirmed by the expression of the delivered gene. The insertion of a Au nanoinjector directly into a cell can be generally applied to any kind of cell, and a high degree of surface modification of Au allows attachment of diverse materials such as proteins, small molecules, or nanoparticles as well as genes on Au nanoinjectors. This expands their applicability, and it is expected that they will provide important information on the effects of delivered exogenous materials and consequently contribute to the development of related therapeutic or clinical technologies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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