Acoustothermal transfection for cell therapy

Sci Adv. 2024 Apr 19;10(16):eadk1855. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.adk1855. Epub 2024 Apr 17.


Transfected stem cells and T cells are promising in personalized cell therapy and immunotherapy against various diseases. However, existing transfection techniques face a fundamental trade-off between transfection efficiency and cell viability; achieving both simultaneously remains a substantial challenge. This study presents an acoustothermal transfection method that leverages acoustic and thermal effects on cells to enhance the permeability of both the cell membrane and nuclear envelope to achieve safe, efficient, and high-throughput transfection of primary T cells and stem cells. With this method, two types of plasmids were simultaneously delivered into the nuclei of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) with efficiencies of 89.6 ± 1.2%. CXCR4-transfected MSCs could efficiently target cerebral ischemia sites in vivo and reduce the infarct volume in mice. Our acoustothermal transfection method addresses a key bottleneck in balancing the transfection efficiency and cell viability, which can become a powerful tool in the future for cellular and gene therapies.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane
  • Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells* / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Plasmids
  • Transfection