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What Are Basophils? Leukocyte Isolation and Leukopak Processing With BACS

The human immune response harnesses many different types of cells to carry out multi-dimensional processes. Individual behaviors can be difficult to study because they are often the product of multiple activated cells. Researchers must study all different types of immune cells to get the best possible understanding of how the human body works. One of the more unique white blood cells is the basophil.

What Are Basophils?

Basophils are a white blood cell that makes up less than 1% of all circulating white blood cells in your body. They are the least abundant white blood cell in all mammals. They are developed in the bone marrow and are an important part of your immune system. These mononuclear cells are a type of granulocyte, a subtype of white blood cell characterized by the presence of small particles attached to them. These small particles, or granules, contain different enzymes that can be released during an immune response, such as an allergic reaction.

Basophils Function

Basophils are a key player in the immune system’s response to allergic reactions, releasing enzymes called histamines. Histamines play a number of roles within the body and are part of the chemical cascade responsible for triggering characteristic allergy symptoms such as sneezing or a runny nose.

Aside from allergic reactions that help warn the body of potentially dangerous substances, basophils also protect the body against a variety of pathogens. Basophils play a role in the immune response to viruses; microbial pathogens; venoms from bees, scorpions, and snakes; and parasitic worms that attack your gastrointestinal tract. Having the appropriate number of circulating basophils is necessary to the body producing a proper immune response.

Basophil Levels

The number of basophils you have in your blood can fluctuate based on different medical conditions. You can learn about your basophil count by having a complete blood count that checks your white blood cell type levels. On average, basophil count should be between 0.5-1% of the total white blood cell count.

What Does It Mean When Basophils Are Low?

If you have lower than average basophils you may have a basophilic disorder as a result. Cancer, serious injuries, severe infections, and thyrotoxicosis are all examples of basophilic disorders present in individuals with a low basophil count.

What Does It Mean When Basophils Are High?

If you have a higher-than-average basophil count you might also have a basophilic disorder. Higher than normal percentages could be indicative of chickenpox, hyperthyroidism, collagen vascular disease, bone marrow diseases, chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), or another allergic reaction of some sort. A higher count typically means your immune system is hyperactively trying to combat an infectious disease of some sort.

How to Isolate Basophils

Basophils have a short lifespan and are of very low abundance in blood samples. Basophils for research use are primarily isolated from leukopaks.

What is Leukopak Material?

Leukopak material, or a leukopak, is a concentrated sample of high-priority blood cells that can be commercially purchased for further isolation. Leukopaks are created through the process of leukapheresis. Leukapheresis is a procedure that separates white blood cells from whole blood, resulting in a sample with a high concentration of cells (especially as compared to whole blood and buffy coat preparations).

Leukopaks are often further processed for specific cell isolation. Leukopak processing can be done with a multitude of different products.

What is Leukopak Processing?

Leukopak processing refers to the isolation of specific desired cell populations from a leukopak. Leukopaks contain monocytes, lymphocytes, red blood cells, platelets, and plasma in high quantities. Using cell separation techniques such as negative selection, researchers can further isolate single cell subsets from these larger populations.

.Sample preparation is frequently a critical first step in any number of life science endeavors. Due to the inherent complexity within samples and diversity between applications, sample preparation needs can vary widely. Akadeum Life Sciences offers a collection of microbubble kits designed for targeted enrichment of specific immune cells. Our innovative microbubble technology can accurately identify and remove contaminating or unwanted cell types, leaving only the enriched, desired cell population. Not only are these bubbles precise, but they are also fast and exceptionally gentle on delicate cells of interest, maintaining cell health and physiology.

Increasingly sensitive cell and molecular biology techniques have created the need for more flexible and specific cell isolation options. In response to this growing need, Akadeum Life Sciences has developed a quick and effective isolation platform with seemingly limitless versatility. Our customizable streptavidin microbubbles offer the flexibility to create a customized isolation workflow to suit specialized research and development requirements. With Akadeum’s breakthrough microbubble technology, a cell population of interest can be rapidly enriched even from complex samples.

At Akadeum Life Sciences, we are committed to furthering scientific advancements to improve human health by overcoming existing limitations in separation technology. If you’re facing headaches in isolating rare cell types, we want to hear from you! Get in touch today to speak with one of our scientific staff about your work, what troubles you’re facing, and whether there could be a microbubble-based solution to overcome the obstacles in your way. We look forward to hearing from you and becoming your partner in cell separation.

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