Cell squeezing

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A mechanical method of delivering molecules into cells through squeezing the cell membrane


Cell squeezing is a method developed in 2013 by Robert Langer, Klavs Jensen and Armon Sharei at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cell squeezing is a non-chemical method. It mechanically deforms the cells as they pass through a constriction that is smaller than the diameter of the cells (subject for transformation or transfection).2 The rapid change in cell shape as the cell forces its way through a channel narrower than its diameter leads to the formation of temporary holes in the cell membrane. Despite the formation of temporary holes, the cell is not damaged permanently and will return to its original state after the transient cell membrane disruption. The temporary hole that is created though will allow the diffusion of material such as proteins, siRNA, and carbon nanotubes (from the buffer) into the cells (e.g. embryonic stems and immune cells).

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1 Sharei A, Zoldan J, Adamo A, Sim WY, Cho N, Jackson E, Mao S, Schneider S, Han MJ, Lytton-Jean A, Basto PA, Jhunjhunwala S, Lee J, Heller DA, Kang JW, Hartoularos GC, Kim KS, Anderson DG, Langer R, Jensen KF (February 2013). "A vector-free microfluidic platform for intracellular delivery". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 110 (6): 2082–7.
2How It Works. SQZ Biotech. [link]