Beside its use for AAV particle purification, OptiPrep is commonly used to separate cell types from blood and other tissue e.g. monocytes, lymphocytes, spermatozoa or plant protoplasts.
Due to its chemical features and the high quality grade production it is also suitable for fractionating cell organelles, membranes and ribonucleoproteins, to separate viable from non-viable cells or to purify proteins, plasma lipoproteins, plasmid DNA.
OptiPrep is used for different density gradient designs including discontinuous or continuous gradients due to its high density. It is most commonly used for the preparation of discontinuous gradients.
These kind of gradients can be generated in two specific ways:
The most common technique is the overlaying technique. Starting with the densest solution and continuing to layer solutions of successively lower densities on top. To avoid mixing the two adjacent layers of different densities, it is important to place the tip of the pipette or syringe against the wall of the tube and apply the solution in a steady, gentle flow.
The second technique is the underlaying technique. Starting with the lowest density solution and underlaying successively denser solutions beneath the lighter solutions. This technique is supposed to be easier than the overlaying technique. However, it is very important to avoid the generation of air bubbles since they disturb the layers and can hardly be removed.
Whatever technique is chosen to prepare the gradient; the actual purification is performed by (ultra)centrifugation following the application of the sample on top of the gradient. The specifications of the centrifugation strongly depend on the sample applied. However, always finish with the fractionation of the different components of the sample according to their density.
For many applications such as electrophoresis, infection of cultured cells, in vivo animal experiments, removal of the iodixanol is not a requirement. If a removal or at least reduction of the iodixanol concentration is required for any reason some form of ultrafiltration is widely regarded as the most effective method.