A method of delivering large molecules into cells using nanomaterials, such as carbon nanofibers, carbon nanotubes, and nanowires
Transfection is the process by which the genetic material is delivered into the target cell. The process can be done through chemical and non-chemical methods. Impalefection is a non-chemical method, just as electroporation, cell squeezing, and sonoporation. However, the difference is that in impalefection the DNA is delivered into the cell using nanomaterials.
The nanomaterials used in impalefection includes carbon nanofibers, carbon nanotubes, and nanowires.1 These nanomaterials are coated with DNA. The latter is inserted into the recipient cell to deliver the genetic material. Other molecules that may be delivered by this method are certain proteins, antibodies, and so on.2 Cells that are impaired by the nanomaterial will express the delivered gene.
Word origin: derived from the combination of the words, impalement and infection
- genetic material
- cell squeezing
- optical transfection
- protoplast fusion
- hydrodynamic delivery
1 McKnight, T. E., A. V. Melechko, D. K. Hensley, D. G. J. Mann, G. D. Griffin, and M. L. Simpson (2004). “Tracking gene expression after DNA delivery using spatially indexed nanofiber arrays”. Nano Letters 4 (7): 1213–1219. doi:10.1021/nl049504b
2Misra, A. (2010). Challenges in Delivery of Therapeutic Genomics and Proteomics. Elsevier B.V.