Droplet-based microfluidic systems to incorporate nucleic acids into cationic liposomes and to transfect mammalian cells in vitro

Abstract : This work aims to use one droplet-based microfluidic systems to incorporate nucleic acids into cationic liposomes and another one to study the mammalian cell transfection process. For this, the first step uses a droplet-based microfluidic system to complex cationic liposomes with pDNA in order to obtain reproducible and suitable lipoplexes to dendritic cells (DCs) transfection. For this purpose, some experimental parameters are investigated, such as inlet flow rates, the maintenance of liposomes’ properties after microfluidic processing, lipoplex characteristics (size, polydispersity and zeta potential) as function of molar charge ratio (R+/-) and microchip design. Then, lipoplexes produced in selected conditions: a microchip with large serpentine channel and split region, which decreases lipoplex polydispersity, operating at ratio aqueous/oil flow rate 0.25 and R+/- 1.5, 3, 5, 7 and 10; are used to transfect DCs in vitro. All lipoplexes transfect DCs while providing cells activation. The second step uses a single-cell microfluidic platform to investigate and control over the transfection conditions, in view of optimizing the recombinant protein production by transfected cells. In this context, Chinese hamster ovary cells (CHO-S) are transfected in microchip with different types of lipoplexes (R+/- 1.5, 3, 5) and monitored by green fluorescent protein (GFP) production and cell viability. The single-cell platform enables to assess the heterogeneities of CHO-S population, revealing the presence of a subpopulation producing significantly high levels of GFP. These high producers (HP) show increased cell size in comparison to the average population. Moreover, the charge of lipoplexes shows an important role to transfect CHO-S, since the unique positive charged lipoplex R+/- 5 produces more HPs. Additionally, the amount of pDNA delivered affects the protein production, since R+/- 1.5 with more pDNA increase GFP specific productivity of HPs. This thesis is a co-supervised program between University of Campinas, Brazil and École Polytechnique, France. In general, this work contributes to microfluidics and gene delivery areas.
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Micaela Vitor. Droplet-based microfluidic systems to incorporate nucleic acids into cationic liposomes and to transfect mammalian cells in vitro. Micro and nanotechnologies/Microelectronics. Université Paris-Saclay; Universidade estadual de Campinas (Brésil), 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017SACLX020⟩. ⟨tel-01531903⟩

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