Non-viral transfection of mammalian cardiomyocytes (CMs) is challenging. The current study aims to characterize and determine the non-viral vector based gene transfection efficiency with human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs). hiPSC-CMs differentiated from PCBC hiPSCs were used as a cell model to be transfected with plasmids carrying green fluorescence protein (pGFP) using polyethylenimine (PEI), including Transporter 5 Transfection Reagent (TR5) and PEI25, and liposome, including lipofectamine-2000 (Lipo2K), lipofectamine-3000 (Lipo3K), and Lipofectamine STEM (LipoSTEM). The gene transfection efficiency and cell viability were quantified by flow cytometry.
We found that the highest gene transfection efficiency in hiPSC-CMs on day 14 of contraction can be achieved by LipoSTEM which was about 32.5 ± 6.7%. However, it also cuased poor cell viability (60.1 ± 4.5%).
Furthermore, a prolonged culture of (transfection on day 23 of contraction) hiPSC-CMs not only improved gene transfection (54.5 ± 8.9%), but also enhanced cell viability (74 ± 4.9%) by LipoSTEM. Based on this optimized gene transfection condition, the highest gene transfection efficiency was 55.6 ± 7.8% or 34.1 ± 4%, respectively, for P1C1 or DP3 hiPSC line that was derived from healthy donor (P1C1) or patient with diabetes (DP3).
The cell viability was 80.8 ± 5.2% or 92.9 ± 2.24%, respectively, for P1C1 or DP3. LipoSTEM is a better non-viral vector for gene transfection of hiPSC-CMs. The highest pGFP gene transfection efficiency can reach >50% for normal hiPSC-CMs or >30% for diabetic hiPSC-CMs.