Requirements of electroporation in cell therapy applications

Efficient intracellular delivery of macromolecules is a critical need for gene and cell-based therapies. Current available methods for intracellular deliveries involve cell characterization and electroporation, which is often limited to bulk destructive and/or labelled approaches, damaging cells, or lacking sensitivity. Therefore, there is a need for non-destructive, label-free, and in-line cell characterization tools in cell therapy applications which can be applied to single cells. Scaling and distributing cost-effective cell therapies to a global population will rely on inexpensive, multi-purpose and automated tools.

Targeted feedback-controlled high efficiency single cell electroporation

Innovators at Georgia Tech have developed a device and technique to perform targeted and highly efficient intracellular delivery of macromolecules to biological cells. This is accomplished by using in-flow, feedback-controlled, and single-cell optimized, low-voltage electroporation in a microfluidic system. The technology integrates single-cell measurements with a real-time feedback control scheme based on measured cell parameters and enables the user to have selective or targeted delivery to certain types of cells from a heterogeneous mixture without the need for any upstream or downstream cell sorting steps.

Solution Advantages
  • Efficient: Removing the need for upstream or downstream cell sorting steps allows high efficiency delivery compared to current commercial electroporation systems.
  • Single cell measurement: Performs in-flow single cell measurements integrated with electroporation unlike current commercial electroporation systems which have no single cell measurement capabilities.
  • Non-destructive to cells: High post-electroporation cell viability compared to current commercial electroporation systems.
  • Real-time optimization: Enables automatic feedback control and real-time optimization of electroporation parameters at the single-cell level unlike current commercial electroporation systems which apply the same parameters to all cells in a batch at a bulk scale.
Potential Commercial Applications
  • Cell transfection for developing or implementing cell therapies and gene therapies.
  • Optimizing electroporation protocols for different cell types and delivery payloads.