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Cells Tissues Organs. 2012;195(1-2):26-40. doi: 10.1159/000331390. Epub 2011 Oct 12.

Methods of cell purification: a critical juncture for laboratory research and translational science.

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Section of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale Stem Cell Center, Yale School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, Conn. 06519, USA.


Research in cell biology and the development of translational technologies are driven by competition, public expectations, and regulatory oversight, putting these fields at a critical juncture. Success in these fields is quickly becoming dependent on the ability of researchers to identify and isolate specific cell populations from heterogeneous mixtures accurately and efficiently. Many methods for cell purification have been developed, and each has advantages and disadvantages that must be considered in light of the intended application. Current cell separation strategies make use of surface proteins, genetic expression, and physics to isolate specific cells by phenotypic traits. Cell purification is also dependent on the cellular reagents available for use and the intended application, as these factors may preclude certain mechanisms used in the processes of labeling and sorting cells.

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