What is Transfection & How Does It Work?

transfection definition and uses-min

Transfection is the introduction of genes or other DNA into cells by a non-mechanical method that does not involve electroporation. Transfection can be carried out with a variety of delivery methods.

The goal of transfection is to introduce genetic material into a cell so that it can be expressed within the cell. This can be done for a variety of purposes, including in vivo gene therapy or research applications.

Transfection Definition

Transfection is a process that involves the introduction of foreign DNA into a cell to produce genetically modified cells. The process involves the use of a vector (a virus or a plasmid) to introduce DNA into the host cell. The vector is then able to reproduce itself and spread its genetic material throughout the host cell until it reaches every part of it. This can take place either inside or outside of an organism’s body, depending on what kind of experiment you’re performing.

To understand transfection, you first need to know about gene therapy and how it works. Gene therapy involves replacing or modifying defective genes with healthy ones. In gene therapy, researchers use viruses to deliver healthy genes into the cell’s nucleus. This is called viral transduction because the virus has been modified so that it will only infect certain types of cells. The virus then releases its payload of healthy genes inside the cell where they can integrate into its DNA and replace any defective genes it finds there.

This can be done by either transient or stable transfection.

  • Transient transfection results in only temporary changes in the host cell’s genetic makeup, and it is often used to study gene expression or protein production.
  • Stable transfection involves the introduction of permanent alterations in the genome of a host cell, which causes it to permanently express new proteins or genes.

Transfection is commonly used to introduce genes into cells for research purposes, but it can also be used to treat diseases. Transfection can be accomplished using liposomes or other carriers that contain DNA molecules. These carriers are typically constructed from lipids or other small molecules that interact directly with lipids on the cell surface.

When performing viral transduction on cells that are not dividing (like neurons), researchers use liposomes (tiny spheres made of lipids) instead of viruses as delivery vehicles because they are easier to control and less likely to cause side effects than viruses would be. Liposomes contain molecules that allow them to fuse with a cell’s membrane and release their cargo inside

What is the purpose of transfection?

Transfection is often used to introduce genes into cells and tissues, in order to study the effects of these genes or to produce specific proteins through protein production.

A common use for transfection is gene therapy, which involves using transfection to insert a healthy copy of a mutated or missing gene into a patient’s cells. Transfection can also be used to deliver corrective genes when treating genetic disorders, such as sickle-cell disease or cystic fibrosis.

Researchers have developed several methods that allow them to increase the efficiency of transfection and reduce toxicity levels associated with this method. These include electroporation (electrical stimulation), lipid-based delivery systems like liposomes and cationic polymers, viral vectors such as lentiviruses, adenoviruses, and retroviruses (DNA viruses), as well as mechanical methods like pressure injection.

How does transfection work?

Transfection is a process in which a gene, or set of genes, is introduced into cells. It’s used to manipulate the genetic material of cells and can be used to treat various diseases or disorders.

It’s done with a vector, which is a piece of DNA altered so that the cell can recognize it as its own genetic material. The vector is usually placed inside an empty virus particle, or “virus-like particle” (VLPs), which injects the genes into the cells.

The goal of transfection is to get your desired genetic material inside cells so that they can begin expressing that material and producing proteins from it. This can be done by using viruses or plasmids as vectors for your DNA—both are capable of carrying large quantities of genetic information from one place to another. Viruses enter cells through their membranes and fuse with their cytoplasmic membranes, releasing their genetic material into their new host’s cytoplasm where they are able to replicate themselves exponentially until they have taken over all available space within those cells (which eventually leads them to burst out in order to release more copies).

Transfection uses viruses as vectors because they’re incredibly effective at getting their genetic material inside cells—and they can’t replicate themselves once they’ve done so. That means there’s no risk of the infected cell becoming cancerous through viral replication, unlike other methods of gene therapy that introduce foreign genes directly into cells (such as when scientists create modified stem cells).

Types of Transfection

Transfection is the process of delivering genetic material into cells. There are several ways to do this, and in this article we’ll discuss five common methods:


Lipofection utilizes lipid vesicles to transport DNA or RNA into cells. These lipid vesicles are formed by mixing DNA, cholesterol, and other components in an oil-in-water emulsion. When this mixture is added to a solution containing cells, it creates tiny bubbles that surround the cells and allows them to pull in the contents of these bubbles and become transfected with your genetic material.


Electroporation uses an electrical current to create holes in cell membranes; this causes foreign protein molecules and other substances within these holes (including DNA) to enter the nucleus of a cell where they can be integrated into its genetic structure.

Biolistic bombardment

Biolistic bombardment (also known as particle bombardment) uses microscopic gold particles coated with DNA to create holes in plant or animal cells. The gold particles are shot through a gun at the cells, which are then hit with a puff of air that causes them to open their membranes, allowing DNA molecules to enter.

Gene transfer

Gene transfer is most often used to create genetically modified organisms or GMOs. These are plants, animals, and bacteria that have been altered at the genetic level so they can perform certain functions better than their non-modified counterparts.

Cell fusion

Cell fusion uses two cells of the same type that fuse together and form one new cell. The process is often used in creating genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. The process is also used to create hybridomas, which are cells that grow immune to cancer and viruses.

Nuclear transfer

Nuclear transfer can be used in research or medical applications. It involves removing the nucleus of a cell—which contains DNA—and transplanting it into an empty egg cell that has had its own nucleus removed. When this new cell is implanted into a woman’s uterus, it forms a fetus.

Benefits of Transfection

The benefits of transfection include:

Reduction in cell death

Transfection can protect cells from apoptosis, or cell death. This is because transfection can deliver genes that will prevent apoptosis, as well as other harmful effects of gene expression. -Increased research: Transfection allows researchers to study specific diseases and their causes in more detail. This process allows scientists to better understand what causes a disease, how it progresses over time, and how it might be treated.

Improved protein production

Transfection can increase protein production in cells. This is important because proteins are the primary components of cells. They perform many functions, including transport of nutrients, cell growth and division.

Improved cell growth and survival

Transfection can increase cell growth and survival rates. This is important because it allows researchers to study how cells react to certain stimuli, such as changes in pH or temperature. These studies can lead to a better understanding of the effects of disease on cells and help scientists develop new treatments for various conditions.

Improved gene expression

The introduction of a gene into a cell can lead to improved expression of that gene. This is important because it allows researchers to study how cells react to certain stimuli, such as changes in pH or temperature. These studies can lead to a better understanding of the effects of disease on cells and help scientists develop new treatments for various conditions.

Biopact Transfection Technology

Biopact Transfection Technology is a method of introducing genes into cells. Biopact Transfection Technology uses a synthetic, non-viral carrier called PTX1 that binds to DNA and carries it into living cells. The technology has been shown to deliver many types of DNA molecules, including plasmids, viral vectors and siRNA.

Biopact Transfection Technology can be used for gene therapy applications and basic research studies related to genetic engineering or gene editing. This method allows you to introduce your genes into almost any kind of cell line (stem cells included). It’s important because it gives scientists access to previously impossible levels of cellular modification with their own selected genes or RNAi sequence, without using viruses as carriers!