Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 41–56 | Cite as

Characterization of the separation properties of the beckman elutriator system

  • P. C. Keng
  • C. K. N. Li
  • K. T. Wheeler


The role of fluid flow in the elutriation process was visualized by pumping dye solution through the Beckman JE-6 elutriator rotor. Three major fluid flow disturbances were observed in the separation chambers, namely; jet-streaming, ripple flow, and whirl flow. In order to evaluate the effects of these non-ideal fluid flow patterns on the separation of homogeneous populations of particles or cells, 12–35 μm diameter latex spheres and 9L rat brain tumor cells were fractionated with the Beckman elutriator system. The elutriator system was evaluated on the basis of: (1) recovery, (2) elution loss during loading, (3) homogeneity of the size distributions, and (4) the relationship of the median volume of eluted particles or cells to the rotor speed and the collection fluid velocity. Both a conventional collection method (two 40-mL fractions at each collection rotor speed) and a long collection method (10–15 40-mL fractions at several collection rotor speeds) were compared to determine if collection procedures could compensate for some of the difficulties caused by the non-ideal fluid flow patterns. Although more than 90% of the particles or cells were always recovered, about 5% eluted during the loading procedure. Neither collection method altered this phenomenon. The collected populations, but this was accompanied by a reduction in cell yield. The median particle or cell volume of each fraction agreed with that expected under ideal fluid flow conditions except at high and low rotor speeds when the conventional collection method was used.

Index Entries

Centrifugal elutriation non-ideal fluid flow patterns latex spheres, 12–35 μm diameter rat 9L brain tumor cells 


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Copyright information

© The Humana Press Inc 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. C. Keng
    • 1
  • C. K. N. Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • K. T. Wheeler
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Cell Separation Facility of the University of Rochester Cancer CenterRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of Radiation Biology and BiophysicsUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA

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