Transfection is the process of introducing nucleic acids into eukaryotic cells. Cells can be stably transfected for the integration of DNA into their genome, or transiently transfected for protein expression of temporary duration. Chemical, physical, and biological methods are used to transfect cells, enabling the study of gene function and expression within a cellular environment. Applications include gene therapy, generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), gene silencing by RNA interference (RNAi), and the production of therapeutic antibodies and proteins.
Transfection is routinely used in gene editing and gene silencing techniques that have enhanced our understanding of complex biological processes and enabled the use of gene therapy to treat disease.