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Label-Free Enrichment of Adrenal Cortical Progenitor Cells Using Inertial Microfluidics


Passive and label-free isolation of viable target cells based on intrinsic biophysical cellular properties would allow for cost savings in applications where molecular biomarkers are known as well as potentially enable the separation of cells with little-to-no known molecular biomarkers. We have demonstrated the purification of adrenal cortical progenitor cells from digestions of murine adrenal glands utilizing hydrodynamic inertial lift forces that single cells and multicellular clusters differentially experience as they flow through a microchannel. Fluorescence staining, along with gene expression measurements, confirmed that populations of cells collected in different outlets were distinct from one another. Furthermore, primary murine cells processed through the device remained highly viable and could be cultured for 10 days in vitro. The proposed target cell isolation technique can provide a practical means to collect significant quantities of viable intact cells required to translate stem cell biology to regenerative medicine in a simple label-free manner.

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