Colony Formation: An Assay of Hematopoietic Progenitor Cells

  • Romy Kronstein-Wiedemann
  • Torsten TonnEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2017)


The colony-forming cell (CFC) assay is used to study the proliferation and differentiation pattern of each input hematopoietic progenitors by their ability to form colonies in a semisolid medium. The resulting colonies are consisting of more differentiated cells, and the number and the morphology of the colonies provide preliminary information about the ability of progenitors to differentiate and proliferate. To allow colonies to grow to a size which facilitates accurate counting and identification, about 14 days of culture is sufficient. In certain situations also shorter periods may be used.

Key words

Ficoll Red blood cell depletion Hematopoietic progenitors Methyl cellulose Semisolid culture Colony-forming units Erythroid and myeloid colonies STEMvision 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Transfusion Medicine, German Red Cross Blood Donation Service North-East, Medical Faculty Carl Gustav CarusTechnical University DresdenDresdenGermany

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