Efficient Purification of CD4+ Lymphocytes from Peripheral Blood Progenitor Cell Products Using Affinity Bead Acoustophoresis

Andreas Lenshof, Arshad Jamal, Josefina Dykes, Anke Urbansky, Ingbritt Åstrand-Grundström, Thomas Laurell, Stefan Scheding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Processing of peripheral blood progenitor cells (PBPC) for clinical transplantation or research applications aims to effectively isolate or deplete specific cell populations, utilizing primarily magnetic or fluorescence activated sorting methods. Here, we investigated the performance of microfluidic acoustophoresis for the separation of lymphocyte subsets from PBPC, and present a novel method for affinity-bead-mediated acoustic separation of cells which can otherwise not be acoustically discriminated. As the acoustic force on a particle depends on particle size, density and compressibility, targeting of cells by affinity specific beads will generate cell-bead complexes that exhibit distinct acoustic properties relative to nontargeted cells and are, thus, possible to isolate. To demonstrate this, PBPC samples (n = 22) were obtained from patients and healthy donors. Following density gradient centrifugation, cells were labeled with anti-CD4-coated magnetic beads (Dynal) and isolated by acoustophoresis and, for comparison, standard magnetic cell sorting technique in parallel. Targeted CD4+ lymphocytes were acoustically isolated with a mean (±SD) purity of 87 ± 12%, compared with 96 ± 3% for control magnetic sorting. Viability of sorted cells was 95 ± 4% (acoustic) and 97 ± 3% (magnetic), respectively. The mean acoustic separation efficiency of CD4+ lymphocytes to the target fraction was 65 ± 22%, compared with a mean CD4+ lymphocyte recovery of 56 ± 15% for magnetic sorting. Functional testing of targeted CD4+ lymphocytes demonstrated unimpaired mitogen-mediated proliferation capacity and cytokine production. Hematopoietic progenitor cell assays revealed a preserved colony forming ability of nontarget cells post sorting. We conclude that the acoustophoresis platform can be utilized to efficiently isolate bead-labeled CD4+ lymphocytes from PBPC samples in a continuous flow format, with preserved functional capacity of both target and nontarget cells. These results open up for simultaneous affinity-bead-mediated separation of multiple cell populations, something which is not possible with current standard magnetic cell separation technology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)933-941
JournalCytometry Part A
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cell and Molecular Biology

Free keywords

  • peripheral blood progenitor cells
  • PBPC
  • lymphocytes
  • magnetic beads
  • acoustophoresis
  • ultrasound
  • cell sorting


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