Sie befinden sich hier



Targeted modification of 3D cell cultures


Vytaute Starkuviene-Erfle, Heidelberg University
Rüdiger Rudolf, Mannheim University for Applied Sciences

Project description

3D cell cultures are increasingly used for fundamental and application-based research. They reflect properties of tissues in health and disease with much higher precision than 2D cell cultures. Not a surprise, therefore, that 3D cell cultures are widely used for screening and testing of drug candidates. Complementation of these experiments with genetic methods is challenging as intracellular delivery of nucleic acids and proteins for, for instance, gene silencing, and is still fairly inefficient in 3D. For this reason, we are developing methods for efficient transfection of 3D cell cultures of increasing complexity. Furthermore, we plan to address efficiency of cargo uptake upon the composition and stiffness of the environment. Eventually, we aim to understand the dynamic behavior of cargo on single-cell and subcellular level.


  1. Zhang J, Starkuviene V, Erfle H, Wang Z, Gunkel M, Zeng Z, Sticht C, Kan K, Rahbari N, Keese M. High-content analysis of microRNAs involved in the phenotype regulation of vascular smooth muscle cells. Sci Rep. 2022;12(1):3498. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-07280-7.
  2. Starkuviene V, Kallenberger SM, Beil N, Lisauskas T, Schumacher BS, Bulkescher R, Wajda P, Gunkel M, Beneke J, Erfle H. High-Density Cell Arrays for Genome-Scale Phenotypic Screening. SLAS Discov. 2019 Mar;24(3):274-283. doi: 10.1177/2472555218818757.
  3. Bulkescher R, Starkuviene V, Erfle H. Solid-phase reverse transfection for intracellular delivery of functionally active proteins. Genome Res. 2017 Oct;27(10):1752-1758. doi: 10.1101/gr.215103.116.

Methods used

fluorescence screening microscopy, confocal microscopy, SPIM, single-molecule microscopy, CRISPR-Cas9 mediated gene editing, RNAi

Collaboration Partners

Applicants profile

The successful candidate holds a Master degree in biosciences, biotechnology, or similar and has a strong interest in cell biology, cell molecular biology and bioengineering. Sound work ethics and the will to drive the project in a cooperative team effort are mandatory. Experience to work with cell cultures, fluorescence microscopy, and image analysis is preferable.