We have developed an microelectroporation device that combines microarrays of oligonucleotides, microfluidic channels, and electroporation for cell transfection and high-throughput screening applications (e.g. RNA interference screens). Microarrays allow the deposition of thousands of different oligonucleotides in microscopic spots. Microfluidic channels and microwells enable efficient loading of cells into the device and prevent cross-contamination between different oligonucleotides spots. Electroporation allows optimal transfection of nucleic acids into cells (especially hard-to-transfect cells such as primary cells) by minimizing cell death while maximizing transfection efficiency. This invention has the advantage of a higher throughput and lower cost, while preventing cross-contamination compared to conventional screening technologies. Moreover, this device does not require bulky robotic liquid handling equipment and is inherently safer given that it is a closed system.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
The United States Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of contract DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation.