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Principles and applications of electrical cell fusion

The results of Vaccination against cancer [11], which have recently been the subject of extensive press coverage, were only possible as a result of cell fusion. In this process, tumor cells from a patient are fused with dendritic cells (DC). The dendritic cells belong to the antigen-presenting cells (APC) of the immune system. Their function is to activate T-cells, which then act specifically against the tumor cells.

The fusion product of the tumor cell and the dendritic cell is irradiated. The cell survives but cannot divide after irradiation. The patient is then injected with these dendritic cells. In this way, the patient's own T-cells are activated. These T-cells attack the metastases and, in many cases, cause their disintegration, reduction, or stagnation.

This method was recently tested on patients for the first time and the initial results are extremely promising.

Multiporator now with cell fusion

Eppendorf now offers electrical cell fusion as another option available on the Multiporator. Developed in cooperation with Professor U. Zimmermann, this device is ideal for the electrofusion of eukaryotes and plant cells.

Depending upon the chosen configuration, it is also possible to electroporate prokaryotes and yeasts, and/or eukaryotic cells. The new Fusion module consists of the following components: the micro fusion chamber and the helix fusion chamber.

Micro fusion chamber The micro fusion chamber (Figs. 4) is used to optimize the parameters for alignment and fusion pulse. This is monitored directly under the microscope
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