Purification of specific cell population by fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS).

Authors:
Sreemanti Basu
Sreemanti Basu
Blood Research Institute
United States
Bonnie N Dittel
Bonnie N Dittel
Blood Research Institute
Avijit Ray, PhD
Avijit Ray, PhD
AbbVie
Senior Scientist II
Immunology, Immuno-oncology, Autoimmunity and Inflammation, Immune tolerance
North Chicago, IL | United States

J Vis Exp 2010 Jul 10(41). Epub 2010 Jul 10.

Blood Research Institute, Blood Center of Wisconsin, USA.

Experimental and clinical studies often require highly purified cell populations. FACS is a technique of choice to purify cell populations of known phenotype. Other bulk methods of purification include panning, complement depletion and magnetic bead separation. However, FACS has several advantages over other available methods. FACS is the preferred method when very high purity of the desired population is required, when the target cell population expresses a very low level of the identifying marker or when cell populations require separation based on differential marker density. In addition, FACS is the only available purification technique to isolate cells based on internal staining or intracellular protein expression, such as a genetically modified fluorescent protein marker. FACS allows the purification of individual cells based on size, granularity and fluorescence. In order to purify cells of interest, they are first stained with fluorescently-tagged monoclonal antibodies (mAb), which recognize specific surface markers on the desired cell population (1). Negative selection of unstained cells is also possible. FACS purification requires a flow cytometer with sorting capacity and the appropriate software. For FACS, cells in suspension are passed as a stream in droplets with each containing a single cell in front of a laser. The fluorescence detection system detects cells of interest based on predetermined fluorescent parameters of the cells. The instrument applies a charge to the droplet containing a cell of interest and an electrostatic deflection system facilitates collection of the charged droplets into appropriate collection tubes (2). The success of staining and thereby sorting depends largely on the selection of the identifying markers and the choice of mAb. Sorting parameters can be adjusted depending on the requirement of purity and yield. Although FACS requires specialized equipment and personnel training, it is the method of choice for isolation of highly purified cell populations.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/1546DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3144656PMC

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July 2010
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