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Transfection and Transformation

Transfection and Transformation

Transferring genetic material into a cell is often referred to as transfection or transformation. While the term “Transfection” is commonly used for the transfer of nucleic acids into eukaryotic cells, the term “Transformation” is commonly used for the intake of genetic material into bacteria.

For the Transfection of cells several techniques exist, such as chemical treatment with Calcium Phosphate, physical treatment such as electroporation or the “gene gun” typically working with gold particles coated with the target nucleic acid, that are shot into the cell. 

For successful Transformation the bacterial cells have to be “competent”. This is a naturally occurring state, in which the cell is able to intake genetic material.  Nevertheless “Competence” can be induced artificially with techniques similar to Transfection such as electroporation or the treatment with Calcium Chloride. 

Transfection and Transformation are used for a wide range of applications and different fields particularly to generate transgenic cells or organisms, e.g. in industry for production clones such as E.coli for Insulin, “GMOs” for food production, but also in basic research, e.g. to alter or knock out dedicated loci in the genome of an organism or a cell, and many more.

Hamilton has implemented a fully automated system for the preparation and application of siRNA probes on tissue culture cells. The Hamilton Microlab STAR liquid handling robot is used to prepare the siRNA/Transfection mixture that is used to prepare the cell arrays.

Features of Automation


Benefits of Automation

  • Precise pipetting into 384-well plates
  • Usage of disposable tips guarantees contamination-free processing
  • Flexible pipetting with the 96 channel head at increased throughput
  • High pipetting accuracy, also at low volumes
  • High throughput siRNA analysis automation, high walkaway time
  • Process safety though appropriate liquid handling, even in 384 well plate format
  • Reliable preparation of the siRNA transfection solution