The key difference between cell fractionation and centrifugation is that cell fractionation is the process of separating subcellular components, isolating organelles, and differentiating other cellular components, while centrifugation is a sub-step of cell fractionation, which involves the use of a centrifugal force to differentiate cellular and sub cellular components.
In the modern scientific world, there are different techniques to study cellular components. In order to study cells and cellular components (including sub-cellular components), it is essential to separate and differentiate cellular structures accordingly. Cell fractionation and centrifugation are two such methods involved in separating cellular and sub-cellular components based on different parameters.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Cell Fractionation
3. What is Centrifugation
4. Similarities – Cell Fractionation and Centrifugation
5. Cell Fractionation vs Centrifugation in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Cell Fractionation vs Centrifugation
What is Cell Fractionation?
Cell fractionation is the process of separating cells and subcellular components, isolating organelles, and differentiating other cellular components. Cell fractionation preserves the individual function of each cellular component upon separation. Cell fractionation has three sub-steps: homogenization, filtration, and centrifugation. Homogenization breaks cellular components, and during filtration, it filters the homogenate. Centrifugation is involved in separating the broken and filtered cellular components and differentiating.
Initially, cell fractionation was used to demonstrate cellular locations of different biochemical processes with reference to clinical tests and laboratory research. In the modern world, the cell fractionation technique is involved in protein enrichment, protein characterization, and protein translocation. During protein enrichment, cell fractionation enriches the target proteins and improves the ability to detect low abundance proteins. During protein characterization, it identifies the sub-cellular localization of proteins, and in protein translocation, cell fractionation help in the monitoring the translocation of cell signaling molecules.
What is Centrifugation?
Centrifugation is a mechanical process that is a sub-step of cell fractionation. It involves the use of a centrifugal force to differentiate cellular and sub-cellular components. The separation of components occurs according to size, shape, density, and rotor speed. During centrifugation, denser cellular components move away from the axis while less dense components move towards the axis. Before centrifugation, the components are suspended in a liquid present in a centrifuge tube.
There are several factors that affect centrifugation. They are the density of both the sample and the medium, temperature, viscosity, and rotational speed. There are different types of centrifuge machines. They are microcentrifuges, low-speed centrifuges, high-speed centrifuges, and ultra-centrifuges. Under ultra-centrifuges, two types are present: analytical ultracentrifugation and preparative ultracentrifugation
What are the Similarities Between Cell Fractionation and Centrifugation?
- Cell fractionation and centrifugation are mechanical processes.
- They help in the cell separation process.
- Both cell fractionation and centrifugation are important in many diagnostic processes.
- Moreover, they require specialized machinery and equipment.
What is the Difference Between Cell Fractionation and Centrifugation?
Cell fractionation is a complete process of separating cells, while centrifugation is a sub-process that comes under cell fractionation. Thus, this is the key difference between cell fractionation and centrifugation. Cell fractionation process uses both a homogenizer and a centrifuge, while centrifugation only uses a centrifuge. Moreover, cell fractionation consists of three sub-steps: homogenization, filtration, and centrifugation, but there are no sub-steps involved in centrifugation.
The below infographic presents the differences between cell fractionation and centrifugation in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Cell Fractionation vs Centrifugation
Cell fractionation and centrifugation are mechanical separation techniques. Cell fractionation uses both a homogenizer and a centrifuge, while centrifugation only uses a centrifuge. Cell fractionation is the process of separating subcellular components, isolating organelles, and differentiating other cellular components. Centrifugation is a mechanical process that is a sub-step of cell fractionation and involves the use of centrifugal force to differentiate cellular and sub-cellular components. So, this summarizes the difference between cell fractionation and centrifugation.
1. “Centriguation Theory.” Fisher Scientific | Lab Equipment and Lab Supplies.
2. “Cell Fractionation: Overview, Procedure & Centrifugation.” Study.com | Take Online Courses.
1. “How centrifuge works” By Ultrabem – Own work, CC0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Homogenizing valve” By Valvola_omogeneizzatrice. svg: Daniele Pugliesiderivative work: Daniele Pugliesi (talk) – Valvola_omogeneizzatrice.svg (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia