Microfluidics Application: Cell Sorting
Cell sorting consists on separating cell according to their properties.
These properties are of different types, such as intracellular (inside the cell) or extracellular (outside the cell).
The properties worked in this type of separations include DNA, RNA, protein molecule, morphology, size or shape.
Furthermore, there are some different types of cell sorting.
There are two main types when cell sorting. As said before, these techniques, that are called flow cytometry and magnetic bead separation, are used to separate cells into different population.
The biggest difference between these two methods is that flow cytometry sorts cells one by one, while magnetic bead separation works on all cells at once. Although both methods are efficient, it is better to know their relative strenths and weaknesses to choose among them.
The importance of cell sorting:
As known, cells are basic structural and functional unit of all living organism, that is why the ability to isolate and sort different cell types within organs and tissues has led to many established principles in medicine and physiology.
On one hand, and taking into account the research field, the ability to separate cells into distinct populations enables the study of individual cell types isolated form the heterogeneous population without contamination from other cell types. This technology enables research in areas as varied as regenerative medicine, cancer therapy and HIV pathogenesis.
Moreover, in terms of clinical usage, it is possible to introduce the enriched cell populations to a patient who has a clinical need for those cells, and it also enables the enumeration of cells within an individual’s blood system ad can help on the repopulation of the immune system.