University of Nebraska Medical Center


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.

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.

  • Elutriated cell requester must have approved IRB and approval from Dr. Howard E. Gendelman, Core Facility Director and Department Chair.
  • Freshly obtained elutriated cells should be cultured soon after receipt of cells and no later than 24 hours.
  • Primary human cells come from healthy donors should be treated as infectious and handled using universal safety precautions. Review universal precautions at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

User fees are set to share the cost associated with this core facility.


To order cells and for more information, contact Myhanh Che (phone: 402-559-5981).

Interested in becoming our donor? Please contact Theresa Grutel (phone: 402-559-5478).

Donor is compensated as allowed by the IRB.