Thursday, March 23, 2023
Mitochondrial Health

Cell fractionation | Basic technique of Cell biology | biology lecture

A useful technique for studying cell structure and function
is cell fractionation which takes cells apart and separates major organelles and other subcellular structures
from one another. The piece of equipment that is used
for this task is the centrifuge, which spins test tubes holding
mixtures of disrupted cells at a series of increasing speeds.
At each speed, the resulting force causes a subset of the cell
components to settle to the bottom of the tube, forming a
pellet. At lower speeds, the pellet consists of larger components,
and higher speeds result in a pellet with smaller
Cell fractionation enables researchers to prepare specific
cell components in bulk and identify their functions, a task
not usually possible with intact cells. For example, on one
of the cell fractions, biochemical tests showed the presence
of enzymes involved in cellular respiration, while electron
microscopy revealed large numbers of the organelles called
mitochondria. Together, these data helped biologists determine
that mitochondria are the sites of cellular respiration.
Biochemistry and cytology thus complement each other in
correlating cell function with structure.


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36 thoughts on “Cell fractionation | Basic technique of Cell biology | biology lecture
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