Percoll® is a classic medium for density gradient centrifugation of cells, viruses, and subcellular particles. It consists of colloidal silica particles of 15-30 nm diameter (23% w/w in water), which have been coated with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP). The PVP coating renders the product completely non-toxic and ideal for use with biological materials. Due to its heterogeneity in particle size, sedimentation occurs at different rates, spontaneously creating very smooth, isometric gradients in the range of 1.0-1.3 g/ml.
Percoll consists of colloidal silica particles of 15-30 nm diameter (23% w/w in water) which have been coated with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP). It is used to establish non-toxic low viscosity, low osmolarity density gradients that can be used to isolate cells, organelles and viruses. It has been used to separate inner and outer membrane vesicles from E. coli. Percoll is isosmotic throughout the gradient, non-toxic, and is easily removed from the purified materials.
Percoll® has been used in the centrifugal separation of:
- neonatal rat ventricular cardiomyocytes
- leucocytes from a blood sample
- peritubular myoid (PM) cells
Features and Benefits
- Low osmolality permits precise adjustment to physiological conditions without significant interference from the medium.
- Compatible with living cells and viruses and allows separation and recovery of intact, fully active systems.
- Impermeable to biological membranes, resulting in no change of buoyant density of particles during centrifugation.
- Spontaneous formation of gradient during centrifugation allows mixing of large sample volumes in the centrifuge tubes.
- Low viscosity results in rapid formation of gradients and particle separation.
- Most biological particles having sedimentation coefficient values greater than 60S can be successfully isolated in Percoll gradients.
Percoll is a registered trademark of Cytiva