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Erythrocyte Enrichment in Hematopoietic Progenitor Cell Cultures Based on Magnetic Susceptibility of the Hemoglobin
Published: Monday, August 27, 2012
Author: Xiaoxia Jin et al.

by Xiaoxia Jin, Stewart Abbot, Xiaokui Zhang, Lin Kang, Vanessa Voskinarian-Berse, Rui Zhao, Marina V. Kameneva, Lee R. Moore, Jeffrey J. Chalmers, Maciej Zborowski

Using novel media formulations, it has been demonstrated that human placenta and umbilical cord blood-derived CD34+ cells can be expanded and differentiated into erythroid cells with high efficiency. However, obtaining mature and functional erythrocytes from the immature cell cultures with high purity and in an efficient manner remains a significant challenge. A distinguishing feature of a reticulocyte and maturing erythrocyte is the increasing concentration of hemoglobin and decreasing cell volume that results in increased cell magnetophoretic mobility (MM) when exposed to high magnetic fields and gradients, under anoxic conditions. Taking advantage of these initial observations, we studied a noninvasive (label-free) magnetic separation and analysis process to enrich and identify cultured functional erythrocytes. In addition to the magnetic cell separation and cell motion analysis in the magnetic field, the cell cultures were characterized for cell sedimentation rate, cell volume distributions using differential interference microscopy, immunophenotyping (glycophorin A), hemoglobin concentration and shear-induced deformability (elongation index, EI, by ektacytometry) to test for mature erythrocyte attributes. A commercial, packed column high-gradient magnetic separator (HGMS) was used for magnetic separation. The magnetically enriched fraction comprised 80% of the maturing cells (predominantly reticulocytes) that showed near 70% overlap of EI with the reference cord blood-derived RBC and over 50% overlap with the adult donor RBCs. The results demonstrate feasibility of label-free magnetic enrichment of erythrocyte fraction of CD34+ progenitor-derived cultures based on the presence of paramagnetic hemoglobin in the maturing erythrocytes.
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