The technique is also safer for those carrying out the experiments thanks to its low discharge of less than 20 volts compared to conventional techniques that can use up to hundreds or even thousands of volts, according to the researcher.
This project was financed through Catalonia's Technology Assessment Support Programme of the Generalitat's Agencia ACC1.
In addition, the initiative enjoyed the active participation of the group lead by Dr Anna Maria Gmez-Foix from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the University of Barcelona.
Experimentation with small RNA fragments
The PhD student Toms Garca-Snchez has played a fundamental role in developing the new technique applied to the UPC's electroporation of cultures and is currently writing his thesis on this project.
Garca-Snchez explains to SINC that during the process of developing the new system they experimented with a transfection technique based on inserting small RNA fragments into the siRNA (small interfering RNA) culture cells. The main function of these fragments is to block specific gene expression once inserted into the cellular cytoplasm.
"The possible gene therapy with siRNA is on the rise in the world of biomedical research nowadays with its application in antiviral therapies and neurodegenerative illnesses, for example," indicates the researcher.
"The fact that we have managed to simplify and make the electroporation process cheaper has opened the door for molecular biology researchers to access a technique with many prospects," he concludes.
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology