After years of minor tweaks to biomagnetic separation technology, manufacturers are introducing major product additions that support molecular diagnostics, cell therapy, stem cell separations, and other new markets, as well as new separation devices that include microfluidics, modularity, and enhanced capabilities.
In May, Miltenyi Biotec announced a strategic collaboration with Stemgent to jointly develop and commercialize technologies focusing on embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells including isolation products. Before that announcement, Miltenyi introduced a cancer stem cell isolation kit using the CD44 marker, which isolates a broader range of cancer stem cells than is possible using the standard CD133 marker.
Consequently, this kit will be useful in answering basic biological questions such as how tumor cells undergo epithelial mesenchymal transition following metastasis from the primary tumor site. Potential applications for the clinical market related to cancer stem cells may include diagnostics and the development of therapeutics, according to Kirt Braun, Ph.D., marketing manager at Miltenyi.
“Other new releases, anticipated this summer, include new products for our core customer base in immunology such as kits to isolate Langerhans cells, B cells, and memory B cells,” Dr. Braun says. “To further support Langerhans cell research, we will soon release a comprehensive solution that combines a mouse epidermal Langerhans cell isolation kit with a mouse epidermis dissociation kit to be used in conjunction with the gentleMACS™ dissociator. Together these replace home brew and mechanical methods of obtaining these cells, while providing high cell purity and recovery with greater than 90 percent viability rates.”
Miltenyi also developed a kit to isolate human mitochondria. “This is a true game changer,” remarks Dr. Braun. “Previously, mitochondria were separated through centrifugation, which isolates only a fraction of the total complement of mitochondria within a cell based solely on size.” Mitochondria isolation including sample preparation typically requires most of one day. “Miltenyi’s mitochondria isolation kit performed the isolation in less than one hour, isolating the full range of functional mitochondrial, often with higher purity.”