UNIT 10.15 Transfection by Electroporation

  1. Huntington Potter

Published Online: 1 MAY 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471142735.im1015s03

Current Protocols in Immunology

Current Protocols in Immunology

How to Cite

Potter, H. 2001. Transfection by Electroporation. Current Protocols in Immunology. 3:VI:10.15:10.15.1–10.15.3.

Author Information

  1. Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
  2. Published Print: SEP 1992


Electroporation yields a high frequency of permanent transfectants, has a high efficiency of transient gene expression, and can be easier to carry out than alternative techniques. Electroporation makes use of the fact that the cell membrane acts as an electrical capacitor which is unable (except through ion channels) to pass current. Subjecting membranes to a high-voltage electric field results in their temporary breakdown and the formation of pores that are large enough to allow macromolecules (as well as smaller molecules such as ATP) to enter or leave the cell. The reclosing of the membrane pores is a natural decay process which is delayed at decreased temperatures. This unit presents the procedures which can be used for both transient and stable transfections.