280192 Cytosolic Delivery of Reprogramming Factors with a Microfluidic Device
An efficient, robust cell delivery method for proteins has always been a daunting task. Current methods include electroporation, which creates pores in cell membranes to allow material to enter the cell, cell penetrating peptides, which modify the proteins to signal endocytosis, and polymers and liposomes, which encapsulate proteins and induce endocytosis. Each has its own flaws and are not considered universal delivery methods. For example, all three methods have been shown to be potentially toxic and the last two methods have been shown to be protein-specific.
By use of our microfluidic device, cells are forced through a constriction which creates pores on the membrane of the cell. This approach has many benefits, one of which is that our method is not material specific. Cells are suspended in solution with the protein of interest to deliver the protein. The second benefit of this method is the robustness to cell type. This microfluidic device works with established cell lines, immune cells, stem cells, as well as skin cells.
While this device is applicable to more than just protein delivery, this specific project focuses on the delivery of reprogramming factors, which are proteins, to skin cells to induce reprogramming into a pluripotent state. These induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) have many benefits such as patient-specific tissues and the creation of immortalized model cell lines for diseases such as Parkinson’s. The benefits of a fast and efficient method of creating iPS cells do not just extend to research, but also to potential clinical and tissue engineering applications as well.
See more of this Group/Topical: Topical 7: Biomedical Applications of Chemical Engineering