The BioSciences Group of Fujitsu Computer Systems has announced a method that nearly doubles the efficiency of cell transformation in difficult-to-transfect cell types, based on the CELLINJECTOR™ automated microinjection technology.
Dr. Michael J. McManus, vice president of Business Development for the BioSciences Group of Fujitsu Computer Systems, said, "We are pleased to announce a method leveraging the expertise of Fujitsu in nanotechnology and automation."
"The CELLINJECTOR vastly improves the efficiency and throughput of cell injections, easily performing thousands of successful injections per day compared to hundreds done manually."
He added, "Researchers working on typically difficult-to-transfect cell types including embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells, among others, which have transfection efficiencies as low as 15-20% using standard reagents could benefit greatly from this technology."
"In a recent study using the CELLINJECTOR technique, overall efficiency of transformation of a mouse cell line was improved to approximately 49%, nearly double the reported averages for transfection for this cell type."
"This workflow requires less technical proficiency among users than existing manual microinjection systems, but provides throughputs of up to 10 times that of manual systems."
One advantage of the CELLINJECTOR-based workflow is that other techniques such as electroporation can cause substantial cell damage.
Another and perhaps even more problematic issue the technique helps circumvent is the fact that in all bulk transfection approaches, it is impossible to differentiate between cells which admitted the vector but failed to transcribe it from those cells which simply did not allow entry of the vector.
As transformed cells are subsequently enriched for further study, it is difficult to ascertain whether the phenotype of the enriched, transfected population is the same as the general population of cells.
Due to a combination of these limitations, the only viable solution has been manual microinjection of such cells - a low-throughput, and prohibitively time- and labor-intensive method.
CELLINJECTOR consists of an integrated, computer-controlled microscopic stage and microinjector system, a microfluidic handling system and pressure control machinery.
The system is designed to enable automatic injection of suspended cells and operator-assisted automatic injection of adherent cells.
CELLINJECTOR has a throughput several times higher than conventional microinjection, injecting up to 1,043 suspended cells in a single dish in 30 minutes and 500-600 adherent cells in an hour - whereas manual injection methods can usually only achieve hundreds of injections per day.