Deep Learning-Assisted Automated Single Cell Electroporation Platform for Effective Genetic Manipulation of Hard-to-Transfect Cells

Prithvijit Mukherjee, Cesar A. Patino, Nibir Pathak, Vincent Lemaitre, Horacio D. Espinosa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Genome engineering of cells using CRISPR/Cas systems has opened new avenues for pharmacological screening and investigating the molecular mechanisms of disease. A critical step in many such studies is the intracellular delivery of the gene editing machinery and the subsequent manipulation of cells. However, these workflows often involve processes such as bulk electroporation for intracellular delivery and fluorescence activated cell sorting for cell isolation that can be harsh to sensitive cell types such as human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). This often leads to poor viability and low overall efficacy, requiring the use of large starting samples. In this work, a fully automated version of the nanofountain probe electroporation (NFP-E) system, a nanopipette-based single-cell electroporation method is presented that provides superior cell viability and efficiency compared to traditional methods. The automated system utilizes a deep convolutional network to identify cell locations and a cell-nanopipette contact algorithm to position the nanopipette over each cell for the application of electroporation pulses. The automated NFP-E is combined with microconfinement arrays for cell isolation to demonstrate a workflow that can be used for CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing and cell tracking with potential applications in screening studies and isogenic cell line generation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSmall
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • CRISPR/Cas9
  • deep learning
  • human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs)
  • intracellular delivery
  • single-cell electroporation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)

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