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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010, Article ID 735349, 12 pages
Methodology Report

Nonviral Gene Delivery to Mesenchymal Stem Cells Using Cationic Liposomes for Gene and Cell Therapy

IBB-Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Centre for Biological and Chemical Engineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal

Received 24 December 2009; Accepted 6 April 2010

Academic Editor: Rumiana Koynova

Copyright © 2010 C. Madeira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) hold a great promise for application in several therapies due to their unique biological characteristics. In order to harness their full potential in cell-or gene-based therapies it might be advantageous to enhance some of their features through gene delivery strategies. Accordingly, we are interested in developing an efficient and safe methodology to genetically engineer human bone marrow MSC (BM MSC), enhancing their therapeutic efficacy in Regenerative Medicine. The plasmid DNA delivery was optimized using a cationic liposome-based reagent. Transfection efficiencies ranged from ~2% to ~35%, resulting from using a Lipid/DNA ratio of 1.25 with a transgene expression of 7 days. Importantly, the number of plasmid copies in different cell passages was quantified for the first time and ~20,000 plasmid copies/cell were obtained independently of cell passage. As transfected MSC have shown high viabilities (90%) and recoveries (52%) while maintaining their multipotency, this might be an advantageous transfection strategy when the goal is to express a therapeutic gene in a safe and transient way.