Cell fractionation is the process used to separate cellular components while preserving individual functions of each component.
Tissue is typically homogenized in an isotonic buffer solution, as well as a pH buffer by use of a variety of mechanisms such as grinding, mincing, chopping, pressure changes, osmotic shock, freeze-thawing, and ultra-sound homogenization. This is done to stop osmotic damage. The samples are then kept cold to prevent enzymatic damage .
This step may not be necessary depending on the source of the cells. Animal tissue however is likely to yield connective tissue which must be removed. Commonly, filtration is achieved either by pouring through gauze or with a suction filter and the relevant grade ceramic filter.
Media for cell separation by density:
- Alberts, B; Johnson, A. "Fractionation of Cells". Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th edition.