A novel stem cell tag-less sorting method

Barbara Roda, Giacomo Lanzoni, Francesco Alviano, Andrea Zattoni, Roberta Costa, Arianna Di Carlo, Cosetta Marchionni, Michele Franchina, Francesca Ricci, Pier Luigi Tazzari, Pasqualepaolo Pagliaro, Sergio Zaccaria Scalinci, Laura Bonsi, Pierluigi Reschiglian, Gian Paolo Bagnara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Growing interest in stem cell research has led to the development of a number of new methods for isolation. The lack of homogeneity in stem cell preparation blurs standardization, which however is recommended for successful applications. Among stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are promising candidates for cell therapy applications. This paper presents a fractionation protocol based on a tag-less, flow-assisted method of purifying, distinguishing and sorting MSCs. The protocol entails a suspension of cells in a transport fluid being injected into a ribbon-like capillary device by continuous flow. In a relatively short time (about 30 min) sorted cells are collected. The protocol has been applied to the improvement of MSC isolation, with a specific view to reducing cell manipulation operations, keeping instrumental simplicity and increasing analytical information for cell characterization. Applications such as MSC purification from epithelial contaminants, MSC characterization from various human sources and sorting of MSC subpopulations with high differentiation potential are described. The low cost, full biocompatibility and scale-up potential of the protocol presented could make the procedure attractive for stem cell selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-427
Number of pages8
JournalStem Cell Reviews and Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Field-flow fractionation
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Stem cells
  • Tag-less sorting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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