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A variety of methods are used to deliver nucleic acids into living cells or organisms (1).  Chemical methods of transfection produce DNA-carrier lipid complexes, for cell plasma membrane entry via endocytosis.  Viral transduction uses packaging of viral based plasmids with individual properties based on sample, target cell type and whether DNA or RNA is delivered.  While viral transduction can be an efficient method of gene delivery, it is laborious requiring and requires vector engineering, production of recombinant virus from a packaging cell line, and purification. Physical methods of gene delivery include electroporation, biolistic transformation (gene gun), and magnetofection. Methods for the transfection of protein and RNA have become increasingly important for rapid studies of intracellular functions of biologically active targets (2). These methods leave no permanent scar in the transfected cells in the form of DNA that can be inherited upon multiple cell divisions, and as such are of interest in applications including the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) (3,4).


  1. Laura Bonetta. (2005) Nature Methods, 2, 875 - 883
  2. Jani B, Fuchs R  (2012) J. Vis Exp. 61, e3702, DOI: 10.3791/3702. PMID: 22473375
  3. Zhou, H., et al. (2009) Cell Stem Cell, 4, 381-4. PMID: 19398399
  4. Warren, L., et al. (2010) Cell Stem Cell, 7, 618–630. PMID: 20888316

Transfection includes these areas of focus:

RNA Transfection
Protein Transfection

Protocols for Transfection

Transfection Reagents Selection Chart

NEB offers a broad selection of high efficiency transfection reagents suitable for transfecting DNA, siRNA and protein.

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