The heart contains more than 20 different cell types and sub-populations. Separating different cell types from each other allows more precise analysis of the cells.
The IEMR houses its own dedicated flow cytometer and cell sorter, which has been optimized to analyze and process cardiac cells.
“This has allowed our researchers to separate cell types including cardiomyocytes, fibroblasts, endothelial cells and immune cells with high precision. In turn, this has facilitated immortalization of specific cell types for further in vitro study and allowed separation into pure cell fractions from animal hearts. The cell fractions can be analyzed by advanced molecular techniques including single cell gene sequencing and mass spectrometry”, says Andreas Romaine, postdoc at IEMR.
Flow cytometry also offers semi-quantitative assessment of both cell surface and intracellular native proteins, complimenting the other molecular biology techniques at the IEMR including Western blotting and ELISA.