Table 14.1 Techniques for loading molecules into the cytoplasm.

Method of Plasma Membrane Breach Size of Molecules Loaded (MW) *
ATP ref1000
Cell-penetrating peptides ref (CPP)150,000; (DNA)
Influx pinocytic cell-loading reagent ref (I14402)150,000
α-Toxin of Staphylococcus aureus ref1000
Red blood cell fusion ref300,000
Cationic lipids ref (Lipofectamine reagents)(DNA)
Microinjection ref150,000
Whole-cell patch clamping refVery high
Carbon nanotubes and nanowires ref150,000; (DNA)
Scrape loading ref500,000; (DNA)
Ultrasonication ref70,000; (DNA)
Microprojectile bombardment ref10,000; (DNA)
Glass beads ref150,000
Electroporation ref †150,000; (DNA)
* Molecular weight (MW) of largest molecules reported loaded (DNA is listed separately if it has been successfully introduced by a technique). † We recommend the Neon® Transfection System ( for efficient electroporation of cultured cell lines, primary cells and stem cells.