Biotechnology: Swirling cells

Journal name:
Nature
Volume:
466,
Page:
163
Date published:
DOI:
doi:10.1038/466163d
Published online

Cited research: Lab Chip doi:10.1039/c004472e (2010)

A laboratory process that uses an electric field to transfer genes into cells has been given a boost by researchers, who have doubled its efficiency.

Electroporation relies on electric pulses to increase the permeability of cell membranes, which can then admit DNA. Chang Lu at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg and his colleagues passed cells through a spiral micro-channel (pictured). Vortices in the channel swirl the cells around, exposing their entire membrane area to the electric field, rather than just a small portion as in traditional techniques.

This method could be scaled up or down to process varying sizes of cell sample, the authors write. D.P.C.

R. SOC. CHEM.

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