One of the most tantalizing abilities of human nature when facing a “what’s that for?” question, is to interfere in a system and check the downstream effects of this change. This empirical approach has set the basis of our global understanding of nature along history. Research is no different: functional study of biological systems is based on over-stimulating or inhibiting components and observing downstream consequences.
For any cell biologist, the target to be altered is the cell. The way to do this is by using molecules able to get through the membrane and produce an alteration (inhibition or stimulation) of the biochemistry inside. However, the plasmic membrane is designed to protect the cell from external “non-authorized intrusions” with very effective systems for this task. Therefore, how to efficiently deliver exogenous nucleic acids inside the cell?