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The Elutriation Core Facility in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience provides state-of-the art isolation of monocytes and lymphocytes from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). These mononuclear phagocytes play a very important role in neurodegenerative disorders such as HIV/AIDS and AIDS dementia, Alzheimer’s diseases, Parkinson’s disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and therefore are critical tools allowing researchers and scientists to actively study the many aspects of these diseases.

Figure 1:  Scheme of Elutriation
Figure 1:  Scheme of Elutriation

    Elutriation is a gentle process known as counter-current centrifugal elutriation. In this process, the PBMCs are placed into a specially designed centrifuge rotor/chamber and subjected to centrifugal field. The cells are then sequentially washed out of the rotor based on their size, using a buffer stream that flows in the direction opposite the centrifugal field. By balancing centrifugal force against the opposing buffer flow, lymphocytes, which are about 6-8 mm and monocytes, which are 8-10 µm, will be selectively removed from the mixture. 
    Elutriation is processed every Tuesday and takes approximately seven hours to complete and yield >97% purity of monocytes and lymphocytes. Cells are generally available around 4:00 p.m. Request for cells should be done Friday before the week of elutriation and/or by prior arrangement with Myhanh Che (402) 559-5981.