The separation of Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMC) may be required for certain applications in flow cytometry. At FCSL we can provide support for PBMC separation as required for your specific flow cytometry assay. Please inquire to start the scientific discussion.


Most flow cytometry assays can be performed on whole blood or on samples that have been drawn and undergone further processing.  For some applications it may be ideal to prepare processed whole blood in order to store cells for longer periods than fresh blood or to perform batch testing for each subject over several time points.  In these instances, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) -are prepared and frozen. PBMCs consist of lymphocytes (T cells, B cells& NK cells), monocytes and dendritic cells. In humans, lymphocytes make up the majority of the PBMC population, followed by monocytes and only a small percentage of dendritic cells PBMCs are the critical component of the immune system that fights infections and diseases. Therefore, key immune responses can be evaluated using PBMCs by profiling – the function and/or phenotype of the different PBMC subpopulations.

PBMCs must be separated from whole blood.  At Flow Contract Site Laboratory (FCSL), we -use density gradient separation for most of our PBMC preparations.

Figure. 1: PBMC isolation by Density gradient centrifugation

As shown in Figure 1, each cell population exhibits a unique migration pattern through the medium and each layer contains specific blood components. The cells are isolated by extracting the respective layer. Isolated PBMCs are washed and then evaluated for cell viability and cell count -using the Guava PCA (Personal Cell Analysis) as shown in Figure 2 and 3.

Figure. 3: Cell viability and viable cell count by Guava PCA

Viable PBMCs are cryopreserved in freezing media. Our laboratory has both liquid nitrogen and -80° freezers for short term storage until the specific flow cytometry assay can be performed.

At FCSL we have extensive experience in PBMC isolation and cryopreservation. We can help your next PBMC isolation in support of flow cytometry assays  with ensuring high cell viability and recovery, timely, standardized and quality results. Please inquire to start the scientific discussion.