Blog | HemaCare

Leukopak Versus Buffy Coat

Feb 27, 2017 8:53:23 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD

Leukopaks are used for research and cell therapy process developments and clinically for certain treatment procedures for blood disorders.Leukapheresis is a procedure to separate white bloods cells (including dendritic and progenitor cells) from a blood sample. Products obtained from leukapharesis procedures, leukopaks, are regularly used in the research setting. They are also used for cell therapy process development and clinically for certain treatment procedures for blood disorders. Another way to obtain white blood cells and platelets is to obtain them from the buffy coat.

To isolate the buffy coat, whole anticoagulated blood is obtained from a donor and centrifuged. After centrifuging, the blood is separated into the plasma, red blood cells, and buffy coat. The buffy coat is the layer located between the plasma and red blood cell layers.

Leukopaks are made by collecting blood from a donor and separating the components using an apheresis machine. An apheresis machine separates out desired blood components and returns the rest to the donor’s circulation. For instance, white blood cells, plasma, and platelets can be collected using apheresis equipment, and the red blood cells and neutrophils are returned to the donor’s circulation.

Obtaining purer, higher yields of mononuclear cells are important for research and clinical use. Leukapheresis collections result in higher purity and considerably increased mononuclear cell content than that achieved by buffy coat collection. The mononuclear cell content possible with leukapheresis is typically 20 times higher than that obtained from the buffy coat. In order to enrich for mononuclear cells, the use of a Ficoll gradient is needed for further separation.
HemaCare’s Leukopaks are collected from institutional review board (IRB)-consented healthy human donors in FDA-registered collection centers using the COBE® Spectra or Spectra Optia® Apheresis System. In comparison to buffy coat–derived cells, HemaCare’s unmobilized leukopaks contain a white blood cell product with mononuclear cells representing an average of 84% of the product. Considering the differences between the collection methods, leukopaks contain higher and more consistent numbers of mononuclear cells when compared to those obtained by buffy coat collection.

White Paper: Are Cryopreserved Leukopaks a Viable Alternative to Fresh?

Do you require Leukopaks for your research or cell therapy process development? Click to order online or call 877-397-3087 to speak to one of our specialists.


Topics: Leukopak, Apheresis, Cell Therapy, Dendritic Cells, Platelets, Plasma, Blood Disorders

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