Quick Background on Cell Sorting/Cell Isolation
Researchers use magnetic activated cell isolation, also known as macs cell sorting or macs cell separation, to enrich a specific cell type from a mixed population. Scientists or companies sort or isolate cells so they can study or grow colonies of a single type of cell. They may use that type of cell for a specific type of functional assay crucial to that cell type or they might be interested in stem cells. Many labs use flow cytometry, also known as FACS (fluorescence activated cell sorting). This is a specialized and expensive technique that often resides in a core facility at a research institution. MACS has emerged as a cheaper alternative for cell sorting. Both these technologies use the highly specific antibody-antigen interaction to probe cells by their surface antigens by their specific antibody. Magnetic bead cell isolation has a more simple protocol and components than FACS, the process is briefly described below.