NOV 25, 2016 3:51 PM PST

A Look at the Process of Transfecting Cells

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

You may have heard of cell transfection, a common technique used in molecular biology research and beyond. In this video, you get a nice look at the actual laboratory procedure being performed from start to finish, including an informative commentary about the process.

In this case, a GFP expression plasmid will be used to transfect HeLa cells. That means that a bit of genomic material of known function that contains the code for the green fluorescent protein will be put into the cells. Cell that pick up that genetic material, called a vector, will illuminate as green under a fluorescent microscope after transfection, as shown.

A special reagent is used to perforate the cell membrane so the vector can get into the cell. Once there, the cellular machinery will work as usual to translate the information on the vector. The cells can then be assayed in a variety of ways.

Aside from looking at them under a microscope, another reagent can be used to extract RNA from the cells. That RNA can then be used to make cDNA, which can subsequently be utilized to assay gene expression by RT-PCR. An alternative not shown here would be to extract protein instead of RNA and check the protein expression in the cells.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on over 30 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 70 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
JUN 30, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Axion: Could the Curious Particle "Kill Two Birds with One Stone"
JUN 30, 2020
Axion: Could the Curious Particle "Kill Two Birds with One Stone"
Physicists often ponder in an unusual way: they use one unsolved problem as a hypothetic solution to another, hoping to ...
JUL 08, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Microbots Show Promise for Advancing Single-Cell Tissue Biopsy
JUL 08, 2020
Microbots Show Promise for Advancing Single-Cell Tissue Biopsy
A biopsy is an invasive, interventional procedure that involves extracting a tissue sample for the diagnosis o ...
JUL 10, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Astronomers Spot 4 Mysterious Circular Objects in Space
JUL 10, 2020
Astronomers Spot 4 Mysterious Circular Objects in Space
Scientists have spotted a new kind of signal in space- four strange, circular objects. Three are particularly bright aro ...
SEP 17, 2020
Space & Astronomy
What the Sun's New Weather Cycle Means for Earth
SEP 17, 2020
What the Sun's New Weather Cycle Means for Earth
Scientists have confirmed that the sun is nine months into a new solar cycle, and that this 11-year cycle will resemble ...
OCT 03, 2020
Space & Astronomy
NASA Launches $23m Toilet to Space Station
OCT 03, 2020
NASA Launches $23m Toilet to Space Station
On late October 2nd, NASA launched a spacecraft carrying 4 tonnes of cargo, including scientific equipment, food hardwar ...
OCT 09, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Ultra-hot Exoplanet Vaporizes Iron in its Atmosphere
OCT 09, 2020
Ultra-hot Exoplanet Vaporizes Iron in its Atmosphere
Researchers from the University of Bern in Germany have found that an exoplanet, known as WASP-121b, is so hot that it c ...
Loading Comments...