Human lymphocyte sorting by gravitational field-flow fractionation

  • Barbara RodaEmail author
  • Pierluigi Reschiglian
  • Andrea Zattoni
  • Pier Luigi Tazzari
  • Marina Buzzi
  • Francesca Ricci
  • Andrea Bontadini
Original Paper


Interest in biological studies on various cell types for many biomedical applications, from research to patient treatments, is constantly increasing. The ability to discriminate (sort) and/or quantify distinct subpopulations of cells has become increasingly important. For instance, not only detection but also the highest depletion of neoplastic cells from normal cells is an important requisite in the autologous transplantation of lymphocytes for blood cancer treatments. In this work, gravitational field-flow fractionation (GrFFF) is shown to be effective for sorting a heterogeneous mixture of human, living lymphocytes constituted of neoplastic B cells from a Burkitt lymphoma cell line and healthy T and B lymphocytes from blood samples. GrFFF does not require the use of fluorescent immunotags for sorting cells, and the sorted cells can be collected for their further characterization. Flow cytometry was used to assess the viability of the cells collected, and to evaluate the cell fractionation achieved. A low amount of neoplastic B lymphocytes (less than 2%) was found in a specific fraction obtained by GrFFF. The high depletion from neoplastic cells (more than 98%) was confirmed by a clonogenicity test.


Gravitational field-flow fractionation Cell sorting Lymphocytes 



This work was supported by the Ministero Italiano dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Roda
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Pierluigi Reschiglian
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andrea Zattoni
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pier Luigi Tazzari
    • 3
  • Marina Buzzi
    • 3
  • Francesca Ricci
    • 3
  • Andrea Bontadini
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry “G. Ciamician”University of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.National Institute of Biostructure and BiosystemsInteruniversity ConsortiumRomeItaly
  3. 3.Service of Transfusion MedicineS. Orsola-Malpighi HospitalBolognaItaly

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