MATra: Magnet-Assisted Transfection

Greatly improved transfection rates in just a few minutes

The MATra principle

Magnet assisted transfection (MATra) is a new, easy-to-handle, very fast and highly efficient technology to transfect cells in culture. All types of nucleic acids from plasmid DNA or siRNA to oligonucleotides can be used with the MATra approach. Data from a variety of species - using cell lines or primary tissue culture - have been accumulated including human, monkey, mouse, rat, xenopus, pig, cat or fish. Using this new technique, nucleic acids are in a first step associated with specifically coated magnetic nanoparticles (MagTagā„¢). Exploiting a strong magnetic force, the full nucleic acid dose is drawn towards and delivered into the target cells leading to efficient transfection without disturbing the membrane architecture and without causing chromosomal damage or leaving holes in the cell membrane like other transfection technologies (e.g. electroporation) do. Two approaches are possible: for a standard magnet assisted transfection MATra-A reagent is used; for more critical cells it is also possible to combine the MATra technology with lipofection ("magnet assisted lipofection"). For this purpose, we are offering MA lipofection enhancer and the high-efficiency lipofection reagent IBAfect.

Both techniques can be used with adherent cells as well as with suspension cells. However, for suspension cells, the cells have to be localized first at the bottom of the wells of cell culture plates to take advantage of the magnetic field in an optimal way. For this purpose cells can be immobilized temporarily (using our MATra-S immobilizer) or modified culture vessels can be used. MATra can also be adapted to high-throughput transfection assays using robotic stations and adapted protocols.

Advantages compared to standard transfections

  • very high transfection efficiencies with a wide range of cell types (many common cell lines as well as primary cells)
  • low cytotoxicity with most commonly used cell lines
  • up to several thousand fold increased levels of transgene expression after short-term incubation with the transfection reagent
  • successfully used with many hard-to-transfect cells such as primary human cells
  • easy, fast and reproducible protocol with different assay formats
  • functional with serum and serum-free
  • highly cost-effective - no need for expensive instruments (like electroporator or particle gun)
  • saves time and material (allows to apply lower amounts of nucleic acid for transfection!)


  • for adherent and suspension cells
  • transfections of cell lines and primary cells with nucleic acids (plasmid DNA, siRNA, oligonucleotides)
  • expression and analysis of genes
  • suited also for automated high-thoughput transfections

Type of nucleic acid/virus suitable for MATra

  • plasmid DNA
  • antisense oligonucleotides
  • siRNA*
  • adenovirus (MA lipofection enhancer only)
  • retrovirus (MA lipofection enhancer only)
* for optimized cell transfection with siRNA we recommend using our new MATra-siRNA reagent

Magnet-Assisted Transfection (MATra) 
Magnet-assisted transfection (MATra). The DNA of interest is loaded by means of electrostatic interactions onto superparamagnetic particles (diameter: 100 bis 200 nm) which are coated by a proprietary polyelectrolyte. A strong magnetic force is applied beneath the cells to be transfected and this strong magnetic field draws the complex consisting of the magnetic particles and the associated nucleic acids fast onto the cells on the bottom of the multi-well plate or cell culture flask. As a result there is a very close contact between the cell membrane and the nucleic acid loaded magnetic complexes which are eventually endocytosed.

MATra reagents

Cat. No.
MA Lipofection Enhancer
0.05 ml, 0.2 ml or 1 ml
MATra-A Reagent
0.05 ml, 0.2 ml or 1 ml
MATra-S Immobilizer
0.05 ml, 0.2 ml or 1 ml
MATra-si Reagent
0.05 ml, 0.2 ml or 1 ml

MATra magnet plates

Cat. No.
Universal Magnet Plate, 26 x 26 cm plate
1 piece
Universal Magnet Plate, 8 x 13 cm plate
1 piece

Website: PromoCell

Related to:
Brands: PromoCell
Product groups: Molecular Biology