A complete workflow for activation and expansion of T cells

Optimize ex vivo T cell activation and expansion in translational research, while preserving functionality and viability. After gentle T cell isolation with our MACS® Technology solutions, activation can be either performed polyclonally or antigen specific. Efficient and reliable proliferation ensures viable and functional T cells for any downstream application. Our flow cytometry solutions enable highly accurate multiparameter T cell analysis.

All you need for your T cell research

Discover the complete product portfolio. 

Comparison of activation marker expression of mouse CD4+ and CD8+ T cells isolated with MACS MicroBeads or T Cell Isolation Kits

Streamlined magnetic T cell isolation with MACS Technology

Reliability now comes with better performance and faster protocols. Our improved MicroBeads and T Cell Isolation Kits allow for high-quality separation of  human and mouse T cells within a few minutes. 

MACS MicroBeads

  • CD4, CD8a, CD90.1, and CD90.2 MicroBeads, mouse allow for positive selection of T cells in only 13.5 minutes.
  • MicroBeads are available with many human, mouse, rat and non-human primate specificities.

T Cell Isolation Kits

  • Untouched isolation of human and mouse T cells and T cell subsets in as little as 18 minutes.
Comparison of StraightFrom Buffy Coat MicroBeads with other commercially available products
Comparison of StraightFrom Buffy Coat MicroBeads with other commercially available products

T cell isolation directly from blood products

StraightFrom® MicroBeads allow magnetic cell separation directly from human blood products, such as whole blood, buffy coat, leukoreduction system chambers (LRSCs) and leukopaks®. CD4+ and CD8+ T cell subsets can be purified using the autoMACS® Pro Separator, the MultiMACS™ Cell24 Separator Plus, or manual separators.

StraightFrom® MicroBeads 

  • No density gradient centrifugation, no erythrocyte lysis.
  • Easy and fast protocols with only a few handling steps.
  • No cell activation and no effects on cell biology.
REAlease MicroBead technology
Principle of REAlease MicroBead technology

Label-free T cell isolation

REAlease® Technology allows for magnetic cell isolation with subsequent removal of any beads and labels from the cell population of interest. Clever utilization of recombinant antibody fragments allows for cell surface labeling in just a few steps.

The technology relies on recombinantly engineered antibody fragments for cell surface labeling and thus achieves highly reproducible results. The REAlease Biotin Complex binds to the target cells. Labeling of the REAlease Biotin Complex with Anti-Biotin MicroBeads allows for magnetic isolation of these cells. Following cell separation, both MicroBeads and REAlease Biotin Complex are gently removed, leaving the cells bead-and label-free. Enriched cells are then suitable for magnetic re-labeling and any application where label-free cells are essential.

REAlease MicroBeads

  • Bead-free cells suited for a second positive selection.
  • Label-free cells for any downstream application.
  • Recombinant antibody fragments for reproducible results.

Scientific poster
REAlease Immunomagnetic Separation Technology with reversible labeling for postive selection of leukocytes

Philipp Steinbrueck, Zhong Yu, Ursula Bissa, Jennifer Brieden, and Christian Dose

Comparison of expansion rates of human CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in TexMACS Medium or competitor’s T cell medium using the T Cell Activation/Expansion Kit, human

T cell cultivation medium

TexMACS™ Medium is an optimized, serum-free cell culture medium developed for reliable T cell and Treg cell culture results. Chemically defined and without animal-derived components, it allows for the highest reproducibility in human and mouse cell culture applications.

TexMACS Medium

  • Free of serum and other animal-derived components.
  • Reliable T cell activation and high expansion rates.
  • Up to MACS GMP Grade.
  • Available with or without phenol red.

T cell activation and expansion

We offer a variety of polyclonal and antigen-specific T cell stimulation tools to choose from.

Expansion of human and mouse CD4+ and CD8+ T cells using T Cell Activation/Expansion Kits

T cell Activation/Expansion Kits 

  • MACSiBead™ Particles loaded with functional-grade antibodies.
  • Efficient activation and expansion of human, mouse, and non-human primate T cells or Treg cells.
Activation and expansion of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells with T Cell TransAct
Activation and expansion of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells with T Cell TransAct

T Cell TransAct™ Stimulation Reagent

  • Ready-to-use reagent for activation and expansion of human T cells.
  • Simple volumetric dosage and easy removal by washing.
  • Up to MACS GMP Grade.
Comparison of T cell activation using the CytoStim Reagent, SEB, or PMA/Ionomycin

CytoStim™ Reagent

Non-toxic alternative to the superantigen SEB for the stimulation of human T cells.

Production of IFN-γ by human CD4+ or CD8+ T cells after stimulation with different antigens using PepTivator Peptide Pools

PepTivator® Peptide Pools

  • Stimulation of both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells with extensive antigen panels.
  • 15-mer peptides with 11-amino-acid overlap that cover the complete sequence of the respective antigen.
  • Available in 96-well format.
  • MACS GMP PepTivator Peptide Pools are available for translational settings.

As the final step in many workflows, flow analysis plays an important part in various T cell applications. The following flow reagents make sure that flow cytometry data is reliable and consistent:

  • REAfinity™ Recombinant Antibodies – recombinantly generated antibodies that ensure lot-to-lot consistency and eliminate background signal.
  • MACSplex™ Cytokine Kits – analysis of multiple soluble cytokines in one sample using any standard flow cytometer.
  • Rapid Cytokine Inspector – combined surface marker and intracellular cytokine staining for multiparameter analysis of activated human T cells.
  • Cytokine Secretion Assay – Detection Kits – flow analysis of cytokine secretion at a detection level of one T cell in a million.
  • Build your own T cell flow panel with our Flow Panel Builder.
  • Pre-tested antibody panels for easy multicolor flow cytometry analysis of T cells

Get acquainted with our protocols and antibody panels for your workflow in T cell research.


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