BME Seminar: Michael G. Schrlau, Engineered Surfaces for Enhanced Gene Transfection

Michael G. Schrlau, Ph.D., Department of Mechanical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology

Tuesday, September 27, 2016
8:30 a.m.

River Campus, Robert B. Goergen Hall, Sloan Auditorium (Room 101)


Introducing nucleic acids into mammalian cells is a crucial step to elucidate biochemical pathways, and to modify gene expression and cellular development in immortalized cells, primary cells, and stem cells. Current transfection technologies are time consuming and limited by the size of genetic cargo, the inefficient introduction of test molecules into large populations of target cells, and the cytotoxicity of the techniques. We have developed a novel method of introducing genes and biomolecules into tens of thousands of mammalian cells through an array of aligned hollow carbon nanotubes, manufactured by template-based nanofabrication processes, to achieve rapid high efficiency transfer with low cytotoxicity. The utilization of carbon nanotube arrays for gene transfection overcomes molecular weight limits of current technologies and can be adapted to deliver drugs or proteins in addition to nucleic acids.  I will describe the template-based nanofabrication processes used to manufacture carbon nanotube-based arrays and discuss recent gene transfection applications.  The talk will conclude with recent findings that the length of the exposed nanotubes has an effect on transfection efficiencies.