High-performance and site-directed in utero electroporation by a triple-electrode probe

Marco Dal Maschio, Diego Ghezzi, Guillaume Bony, Alessandro Alabastri, Gabriele Deidda, Marco Brondi, Sebastian Sulis Sato, Remo Proietti Zaccaria, Enzo Di Fabrizio, Gian Michele Ratto, Laura Cancedda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


In utero electroporation is a powerful tool to transfect and manipulate neural-precursor cells of the rodent parietal cortex and their progeny in vivo. Although this technique can potentially target numerous brain areas, reliability of transfection in some brain regions is low or physical access is limited. Here we present a new in utero electroporation configuration based on the use of three electrodes, the relative position and polarities of which can be adjusted. The technique allows easy access and exceedingly reliable monolateral or bilateral transfection at brain locations that could only be sporadically targeted before. By improvement in the efficiency of the electrical field distribution, demonstrated here by a mathematical simulation, the multi-electrode configuration also extends the developmental timeframe for reliable in utero electroporation, allowing for the first time specific transfection of Purkinje cells in the rat cerebellum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number960
JournalNature Communications
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr F. Benfenati (IIT, Genoa, Italy) for partial financial support and critical reading of the manuscript, Dr A.D. Huberman (USCD, San Diego, CA, USA) for revision of the manuscript, L. Orciari for design and production of the multi-electrode device (IIT, Genoa, Italy), G. Pruzzo (IIT, Genoa, Italy) for technical advice, J. Szczurkowska (IIT, Genoa, Italy) for help with IUE and E. Van Battum (University Medical Center, Utrecht, the Netherlands) for providing the pictures of the surgery. The work was supported by Compagnia di San Paolo # 2008.1267, FIRB # RBFR08F82X and Telethon # GGP10135.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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