Immunomagnetic separation of tumor initiating cells by screening two surface markers
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Isolating tumor initiating cells (TICs) often requires screening of multiple surface markers, sometimes with opposite preferences. This creates a challenge for using bead-based immunomagnetic separation (IMS) that typically enriches cells based on one abundant marker. Here, we propose a new strategy that allows isolation of CD44(+)/CD24(-) TICs by IMS involving both magnetic beads coated by anti-CD44 antibody and nonmagnetic beads coated by anti-CD24 antibody (referred to as two-bead IMS). Cells enriched with our approach showed significant enhancement in TIC marker expression (examined by flow cytometry) and improved tumorsphere formation efficiency. Our method will extend the application of IMS to cell subsets characterized by multiple markers.