Being able to deliver molecular loads to the intracellular space of mammalian cells is a key initial step of genetic engineering. In the following work, experimentation with nanoinjection, a non-viral molecular load delivery technique, was examined in regards to transmembrane delivery of propidium iodide (PI), a dye that cannot penetrate the cell membrane and fluoresces when bound to genetic material. Investigation includes two environmental factors: peak pulse amplitude (1.5 to 3, 5, 7, or 9 V) and saline type (HBSS, PBS with potassium, and PBS without potassium). Results indicate that PBS with potassium has significantly higher PI uptake efficiency than the other two saline solutions for pulsed voltages of 3V, 5V, and 7V (with the peak value being 3.352 times greater than the positive control). Also, cell viability analysis indicates that there is a measureable reduction in cell viability for voltage protocol samples in comparison to non-voltage protocol samples. Cell viabilities range from 74.5% to 89.4% for voltage protocol samples. Findings suggest that a possible combination of physical/electrical variables work in concert with biological mechanisms to contribute to overall cell survival and PI uptake efficiency in nanoinjection.

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