CRISPR-Cas9 delivery to hard-to-transfect cells via membrane deformation

Xin Han, Zongbin Liu, Myeong Chan Jo, Kai Zhang, Ying Li, Zihua Zeng, Nan Li, Youli Zu, Lidong Qin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

183 Scopus citations


The CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-Cas (CRISPR-associated) nuclease system represents an efficient tool for genome editing and gene function analysis. It consists of two components: single-guide RNA (sgRNA) and the enzyme Cas9. Typical sgRNA and Cas9 intracellular delivery techniques are limited by their reliance on cell type and exogenous materials as well as their toxic effects on cells (for example, electroporation). We introduce and optimize a microfluidic membrane deformation method to deliver sgRNA and Cas9 into different cell types and achieve successful genome editing. This approach uses rapid cell mechanical deformation to generate transient membrane holes to enable delivery of biomaterials in the medium. We achieved high delivery efficiency of different macromolecules into different cell types, including hard-to-transfect lymphoma cells and embryonic stem cells, whilemaintaining high cell viability.With the advantages of broad applicability across different cell types, particularly hard-to-transfect cells, and flexibility of application, this method could potentially enable new avenues of biomedical research and gene targeting therapy such as mutation correction of disease genes through combination of the CRISPR-Cas9-mediated knockin system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1500454
Pages (from-to)e1500454
JournalScience advances
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'CRISPR-Cas9 delivery to hard-to-transfect cells via membrane deformation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this