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Transfection Reagents

Lipofectamine reagent-specific protocols have been optimized for efficiency, viability, and reproducibility across a broad range of cell types. This can be a great place to start especially in a new cell line. If you find this doesn’t work for your specific cell type, then you can you look to our cell-specific protocols for further optimization.

Find a great transfection reagent for your cell type and payload

We offer transfection reagents for DNA, siRNA, RNA, and protein delivery, providing a range of options to suit your transfection experiment:

  • DNA delivery—Transient and stable transfection of DNA plasmids. DNA transfection is used to study gene function and regulation, mutational analysis and biochemical characterization of gene products, effects of gene expression on the health and life cycle of cells, as well as for large scale production of proteins for purification and downstream applications.
  • RNA delivery—Transient transfection of mRNA or RNAi molecules. mRNA transfection, which allows the production of recombinant proteins without the need for nuclear entry, is useful for short-term studies of gene expression and has emerged as a promising application for vaccine studies. RNAi molecules facilitate gene knockdown, which can be used in analyses of protein function and phenotype, function recovery, pathway analysis, in vivo knockdown, and drug target discovery.
  • Protein delivery—CRISPR-Cas9 transfection allows for genome editing in broad applications such as stem cell engineering, gene therapy, tissue and animal disease models, and engineering disease-resistant transgenic plants.

When selecting a transfection method, consider the payload you wish to deliver (DNA, RNA, or protein) and the type of cells you want to transfect. Use the selection guide below to choose between our various cationic-lipid transfection reagents and our electroporation transfection system.

Continuous Cells

Continuous cell lines are capable of unlimited proliferative potential, and are generally easier to work with than primary or finite cell cultures. However, because these cells have undergone genetic transformation to become immortalized, their behavior in culture may not necessarily reflect the in vivo situation.

Primary and Stem Cells

Primary cells are isolated directly from the tissue and proliferated under appropriate conditions. As such, they are morphologically and physiologically more similar to an in vivo state. However, they are usually more difficult to culture and transfect than continuous cell lines.

After the first subculture, the primary culture becomes known as a cell line. Cell lines derived from primary cultures have a limited life span (i.e., they are finite), and as they are passaged, cells with the highest growth capacity predominate, resulting in a degree of genotypic and phenotypic uniformity in the population. Therefore, their phenotype is intermediate between primary cells and continuous cultures. The use of such cells is sometimes easier than the use of primary cells, especially for the generation of stably transfected clones.

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