Isolation of Mononuclear Cells from Human Blood (Density Barrier Sedimentation)


Mononuclear cells (lymphocytes and monocytes) can be isolated from other blood cell elements on the basis of their lower density. There are three variations of the basic method: (1) sedimentation on to a density barrier using diatrizoate (plus a polysaccharide) or Nycodenz or iodixanol; (2) flotation after raising the density of the plasma by mixing blood with Nycodenz or iodixanol; (3) flotation through an iodixanol density barrier.

Keywords: peripheral blood; human; lymphocytes; monocytes; mononuclear cell separation; cell separation


Boyum A (1967) Isolation of mononuclear cells and granulocytes from human blood. Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation 21 (suppl. 97): 77–89.

Patel D, Ford TC and Rickwood D (1998) In: Fisher D, Francis GE and Rickwood D (eds) Cell Separation – a Practical Approach, pp. 43–89. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Graham, John M, and Rickwood, David(Mar 2004) Isolation of Mononuclear Cells from Human Blood (Density Barrier Sedimentation). In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0003801]