Transfection refers to the process of introducing foreign DNA or RNA into cells. Transfection can be either transient or stable.
Transient transfection refers to a short-term introduction of foreign DNA or RNA into cells, where the exogenous genetic material is not integrated into the host cell’s genome. The foreign DNA or RNA usually exists in the cell for a limited period before it is degraded or diluted out during cell division.
Stable transfection, on the other hand, is a long-term introduction of foreign DNA or RNA into cells, where the exogenous genetic material integrates into the host cell’s genome. This results in the permanent expression of the exogenous genetic material and can be used to create stable cell lines that express a particular gene of interest.
Transient transfection is commonly used in studies where the gene expression needs to be analyzed quickly, such as reporter assays, whereas stable transfection is used for studies that require long-term expression of a particular gene or the creation of stable cell lines for functional or therapeutic studies.