siRNA Delivery via Electropulsation: A Review of the Basic Processes

  • Muriel Golzio
  • Justin Teissie
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1121)


Due to their capacity for inducing strong and sequence specific gene silencing in cells, small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) are now recognized not only as powerful experimental tools for basic research in Molecular biology but with promising potentials in therapeutic development. Delivery is a bottleneck in many studies. There is a common opinion that full potential of siRNA as therapeutic agent will not be attained until better methodologies for its targeted intracellular delivery to cells and tissues are developed. Electropulsation (EP) is one of the physical methods successfully used to transfer siRNA into living cells in vitro and in vivo. This review will describe how siRNA electrotransfer obeys characterized biophysical processes (cell-size-dependent electropermeabilization, electrophoretic drag) with a strong control of a low loss of viability. Protocols can be easily adjusted by a proper setting of the electrical parameters and pulsing buffers. EP can be easily directly applied on animals. Preclinical studies showed that electropermeabilization brings a direct cytoplasmic distribution of siRNA and an efficient silencing of the targeted protein expression. EP appears as a promising tool for clinical applications of gene silencing. A panel of successful trials will be given.

Key words

siRNA Electropulsation Electrophoretic drag In vivo Preclinical 



The authors want to thank their colleagues (Dr. S Chabot, M.P. Rols, E. Bellard, and S. Pelofy) in the group for many discussions.

The work was supported by grants from the EU (FP7 oncomirs #201102) and from the region Midi Pyrénées (# 11052700).

Research was conducted in the scope of the EBAM European Associated Laboratory (LEA) and of the COST Action TD1104 European network for development of electroporation-based technologies and treatments (EP4Bio2Med).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muriel Golzio
    • 1
    • 2
  • Justin Teissie
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre National de la Recherche ScientifiqueInstitut de Pharmacologie et de Biologie StructuraleToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Université de Toulouse, UPS, IPBSToulouseFrance

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