Isolation and characterization of microglia

  • Gentle and automated dissociation of brain tissue
  • Obtain viable single-cell suspensions free of myelin debris 
  • Acquire pure and viable microglia from neonatal and adult mouse, rat and human
  • Quick and easy manual or automated protocol

Application protocols

Discover our different workflows for microglia and find the one that fits your experimental needs:

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MACS Academy: Adult brain dissociation and neural cell isolation

Watch our recorded webinar on Adult brain dissociation and neural cell isolation and learn

  • about our adult brain workflow,
  • our innovative MACS® Technologies,
  • and how our adult brain workflow can help to advance neuroscience research.
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Scientific poster
Efficient isolation of viable primary neural cells from adult murin brain tissue based on a novel automated tissue dissociation protocol

This scientific poster presented at SfN 2016 shows you

  • Yield, purity and viability after cell isolation
  • Immunocytochemistry staining after cell cultivation
  • Single-cell mRNA sequencing of isolated astrocytes

Application data by workflow step

Tissue dissociation of murine brain

Tissue dissociation into single-cell suspensions with high cell viability and a minimum of cell debris is a prerequisite for reliable cell separation, cell culture, and flow cytometry analysis. A dissociation procedure that combines optimized enzymatic treatment using our Tissue Dissociation Kits with gentle mechanical dissociation (gentleMACS) is crucial for the preparation of viable single-cell suspensions. 

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The Adult Brain Dissociation Kit, mouse and rat, yields highly viable and pure neural cells

The cell suspension from adult brain contains a significant amount of cell debris and erythrocytes (A), which hampers subsequent cell isolation, cultivation, and analysis. The Adult Brain Dissociation Kit, mouse and rat optimizes the tissue dissociation process, and after sample clearing yields living cells with much
less cell debris and erythrocytes (B).

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Standardized tissue dissociation with Neural Tissue Dissociation Kits and gentleMACS Dissociators

Mouse whole brain issue (P4) was dissociated using the Neural Tissue Dissociation Kit (P) and the gentleMACS Dissociator Octo with Heaters. The cells were stained with Propidium iodide and analyzed with the MACSQuant Analyzer. Flow  cytometry analysis showed that the dissociated cell suspension contained minimal debris (A) and a very high percentage of viable cells (B).

Magnetic isolation and flow cytometric analysis of microglia

Our MACS® MicroBead Technology, in combination with the Adult Brain Dissociation Kit provides a gentle technique with minimal manipulation time. It allows you to obtain pure, viable and functional adult microglia.

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How to isolate pure viable microglia

Watch this hands-on protocol showing you how to isolate microglial cells from adult mouse brain. The Miltenyi Biotec protocol is faster, standardized, reproducible, and easy to scale up.

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Scientific poster
Standardized tissue dissociation and removal of myelin debris optimize isolation of cells from human brain tumor

Sandy Reiß¹, Stephan Dützmann², Sandra Pennartz¹
¹ Miltenyi Biotec B.V. & Co. KG , Friedrich-Ebert-Str. 68, 51429 Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, ² Department of Neurosurgery, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main , Germany

5 benefits of using magnetic cell separation to isolate neural cells from the central nervous system 
Read this recently published paper in PLoS ONE demonstrating the benefits of magnetic cell separation which include:

  • Reliable isolation of different cell populations from CNS tissue across developmental time points, from postnatal and juvenile to adult
  • Amendability to customization, using commercially available membrane-targeted antibodies 
  • Retention of a dense network of cellular processes
  • Enabled analysis of extrasomatic proteins

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