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Open Access Highly Accessed Methodology article

Optimization of immunomagnetic separation for cord blood-derived hematopoietic stem cells

Tuija Kekarainen12, Sirkka Mannelin1, Jarmo Laine1 and Taina Jaatinen1*

Author Affiliations

1 Finnish Red Cross Blood Service, Helsinki, Finland

2 Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal (CReSA), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

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BMC Cell Biology 2006, 7:30  doi:10.1186/1471-2121-7-30

Published: 1 August 2006



There is a growing interest in cord blood as a source of primitive stem cells with the capacity for multilineage differentiation. Pure cell fractions are needed for the characterization and in vitro expansion of stem cells as well as for their use in preclinical research. However, enrichment of stem cells is challenging due to the lack of stem cell-specific markers and gentle protocols for the isolation of highly pure stem cell fractions. Protocols developed for the enrichment of peripheral blood-derived stem cells have been found to be suboptimal for cord blood.


In this study, immunomagnetic cell sorting protocols to purify CD34+, CD133+ and Lin- cells from fresh and cryopreserved cord blood were optimized. Reproducible purities of up to 97% were reached. The selected cells were highly viable having substantial colony-forming potential.


The optimized protocols enable rapid enrichment of highly pure hematopoietic stem cells from both fresh and cryopreserved cord blood.