Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017
04/25/2017

Figure 1: GNOME laser transfection can continuously achieve high vitality rates of over 80% in primary cells (here: cortical neurons) (Photo: LZH)

Figure 2: The innovative prototype of the GNOME laser transfection demonstrates how quick and easy operation can be combined with innovative technology. (Graphics: LZH)

Transfecting a larger number of cells gently and efficiently – this is possible using the GNOME technology of the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH). This technology is especially suitable for high throughput screening. For the first time, the LZH will be presenting this innovative technology at the Labvolution 2017 at the Pavilion of the State of Lower Saxony (hall 19/20, stand C80).

Whether for drug screening, protein production or gene regulation, moving exogenous molecules into biological cells, also known as transfection, is a key technology for basic research and also for clinical and industrial applications. The main challenge lies in permeating the cell membrane efficiently without having a lasting effect on the cell, or the functionality of the molecule.

Laser transfection with gold nanoparticles
The LZH has developed the gold nanoparticle supported laser transfection process GNOME (gold nanoparticle mediated), which allows high transfection efficiency with a minimal influence on the target cells, high vitality rates, and short process times. The gold nanoparticles adhere to the cell membrane and accurately focus the laser energy of a pico-second laser. The membrane is permeated and exogenous molecules can flow into the cell.

The prototype shown at the Labvolution is suitable for all common microtiter plate formats, and is thus ideal for high throughput screening. As it is used, among other things, in the development of active agents. Also, new therapeutics, for example based on CRIPR (Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) technology, can be evaluated. Visitors of the exhibition can see the possibilities of the GNOME laser transfection and how it is operated. The Lower Saxony Pavilion is organized by the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture as well as the Ministry for Economics, Labor and Transport.

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Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH)

As an independent, non-profit research institute, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) stands for innovative research, development and consulting. The LZH is supported by the Lower Saxony Ministry for Economics, Labour and Transport and is dedicated to the selfless promotion of applied research in the field of photonics and laser technology. Founded in 1986, over 170 employees are now working for the LZH.

The focus of the LZH lies on the fields of optical components and systems, optical production technologies, and biomedical photonics. Interdisciplinary cooperation between natural scientists and mechanical engineers makes innovative approaches to challenges from the most different areas possible: from the development of components for specific laser systems to process developments for the most diverse laser applications, for example for medical technology or lightweight construction in the automotive sector. Seventeen spin off companies have emerged from the LZH up to now. Thus, the LZH has created a strong transfer between fundamental science, application oriented research, and industry.