Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A safe way to manipulate immune cells

09.10.2014

An optimized technique allows B cells to be transfected with extraneous DNA without the use of viruses

The introduction of foreign DNA into human cells through a process known as ‘transfection’ allows scientists to study gene expression in the laboratory and enables clinicians to treat genetic diseases. The methods commonly used for this procedure work for most cell types, except when it comes to B cells — a group of infection-fighting white blood cells in the immune system that have proven extremely difficult to transfect without the use of viruses. Viruses, however, pose a number of safety issues.


Fluorescence microscopy image showing green fluorescent protein expression in sonoporated human B cells.

© 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

A team led by scientists at the A*STAR Bioprocessing Technology Institute and the A*STAR Institute of High Performance Computing has now developed a non-viral strategy to deliver DNA into this intractable cell type. By optimizing a technique termed sonoporation, the researchers managed to introduce genes into B cells with high rates of success1.

“Our work is the first to demonstrate the use of sonoporation as an alternative, non-viral method for stable and highly efficient transfection of recalcitrant B cell lines,” says biomedical engineer and study leader Andre Boon-Hwa Choo.

Sonoporation combines ultrasonic sound frequencies and tiny gas-filled bubbles to generate transient pores in the cell membrane through which DNA can travel. Choo and his colleagues tweaked the acoustic energy levels and microbubble concentrations to deliver a circular piece of DNA that they could track visually in a trio of human B cell lines.

In one cell line, for example, the researchers achieved around 43 per cent transfection efficiency through sonoporation, compared to just 3 per cent with a conventional transfection method called lipofection (see image). Through further selection techniques, the researchers enriched the population of transfected B cells to more than 70 per cent. They achieved similarly impressive results with the two other B cell lines.

According to Charlene Li Ling Yong, co-first-author of the study along with Dave Siak-Wei Ow, the sonoporation-based transfection technique can now be used in the laboratory to better understand how B cells regulate immune responses against pathogens. “It allows scientists to elucidate the biological pathways of immune responses,” says Yong.

Numerous clinical research teams are also pursuing B-cell-based gene therapies to induce tolerance against autoimmune diseases. The method described in the current study could come in particularly handy for treatments in the human body — without any of the adverse effects of viral-mediated gene therapy. “Sonoporation has the potential to be applied in vivo,” Ow says. “It offers a safer and noninvasive alternative to existing gene therapies.” 

The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Bioprocessing Technology Institute and the Institute of High Performance Computing

Reference

  1. Yong, C. L. L., Ow, D. S.-W., Tandiono, T., Heng, L. L. M., Chan, K. K.-K., Ohl, C.-D., Klaseboer, E., Ohl, S.-W. & Choo, A. B.-H. Microbubble-mediated sonoporation for highly efficient transfection of recalcitrant human B- cell lines. Biotechnology Journal 9, 1081–1087 (2014). | article

A*STAR Research | Research SEA News
Further information:
http://www.research.a-star.edu.sg/research/7048
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells
12.12.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Smelling the forest – not the trees
12.12.2018 | Universität Konstanz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

CCNY-Yale researchers make shape shifting cell breakthrough

12.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Pain: Perception and motor impulses arise in the brain independently of one another

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>