The introduction of nanomaterials into cells is an indispensable process for studies ranging from basic biology to clinical applications. To deliver foreign nanomaterials into living cells, traditionally endocytosis, viral and lipid nanocarriers or electroporation are mainly employed; however, they critically suffer from toxicity, inconsistent delivery, and low throughput and are time-consuming and labor-intensive processes. Here, we present a novel inertial microfluidic cell hydroporator capable of delivering a wide range of nanomaterials to various cell types in a single-step without the aid of carriers or external apparatus. The platform inertially focuses cells into the channel center and guides cells to collide at a T-junction. Controlled compression and shear forces generate transient membrane discontinuities that facilitate passive diffusion of external nanomaterials into the cell cytoplasm while maintaining high cell viability. This hydroporation method shows superior delivery efficiency, is high-throughput, and has high controllability; moreover, its extremely simple and low-cost operation provides a powerful and practical strategy in the applications of cellular imaging, biomanufacturing, cell-based therapies, regenerative medicine, and disease diagnosis.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
A.J.C. acknowledges funding from RPI, KSEA Young Investigator Grant, and Korea University Grant. D.C. is supported by the startup funds from AMC and the AACR Gertrude B. Elion Cancer Research Award. X.W. acknowledges funding from RPI, CBIS at RPI, and the gift funds from HT Materials Corporation. The authors thank Dr. Sergey Pryshchep, Dr. Brigitte Arduini, Ms. Erin Tuttle, Ms. Jiaying Yu, and Ms. Helene Ryu at RPI and Dr. Xianhui Wang and Prof. Douglas Conklin at University at Albany for their technical support and useful comments. Provisional patent applications have been filed by the authors’ employers.
A.J.C. acknowledges funding from RPI, KSEA Young Investigator Grant, and Korea University Grant. D.C. is supported by the startup funds from AMC and the AACR Gertrude B. Elion Cancer Research Award.
© 2018 American Chemical Society.
- Intracellular delivery of nanomaterials
- cell hydroporator
- inertial microfluidics
- macromolecule delivery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Chemistry
- General Materials Science
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanical Engineering