To obtain efficient gene transfer by transfection, plasmid DNA can be complexed with lipid reagents to mediate efficient delivery into the cell's nucleus. This process is essential for subsequent protein expression of the gene of interest. Plasmids are small circular DNA molecules that naturally occur in bacteria, and are actually used by the bacteria to transfer genetic information. The mechanism of adding a DNA plasmid into a mammalian cell is known as plasmid transfection.

Our Invitrogen Lipofectamine Reagent–specific protocols have been optimized for efficiency, viability, and reproducibility across a broad range of cell types (see "Download protocol" links in the table below). This is often the best place to start, especially in a new cell line. If you find this doesn’t work for you specific cell type, then you can you look to our cell specific protocols for further optimization.

Which Invitrogen plasmid DNA transfection reagent product is right for you?

  High efficiency versatile reagent for a wide range of common cell types
Lipofectamine 2000
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Most efficient versatile reagent for the widest range of cell types including difficult-to-transfect cells
Lipofectamine 3000
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High-efficiency electroporation for all cell lines; best for primary & stem cells
Neon Transfection System
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Top-selling format Cat. No. 11668-019 (1.5 mL) Cat. No. L3000-015 (1.5 mL) Cat. No. MPK5000S
Sample type
  • DNA
  • RNA
  • Co-transfection
  • DNA
  • RNA
  • Co-transfection
  • DNA
  • RNA
  • Co-transfection
  • Protein
Transfection efficiency High Superior Maximal
Cell viability High Superior Good
Protocol Download protocol Download protocol Download protocol
Price/rxn $0.53 $0.58 $7.10 per transfection
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Other plasmid DNA transfection reagents

Plasmid DNA transfection resources

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