Flow Cytometry

Flow Cytometry

Flow Cytometry: Counting, Sorting, and MeasuringFlow Cytometry

In flow cytometry, a technique for cell counting, sorting, measurement, and analysis, cells are suspended in a stream of fluid that flows single file past the instrument’s laser(s) or other measuring system. Scattered light and/or fluorescence is filtered and collected, providing information about the particle’s properties. Today’s instruments often feature multiple lasers and fluorescence detectors, and can sort and analyze tens of thousands of particles per second.

Primary benefits of the technique include the capability of analyzing many cells in a short time period and numerous parameters at one time.

Flow Cytometry Applications

  • Immunology
  • Medicine
  • Molecular biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Pharmaceuticals

How to choose a flow cytometry system?

Flow cytometers with six or more lasers that can detect well over a dozen colors are being offered by today’s manufacturers; however, analysis of up to four colors is much more common. It pays to examine your specific needs: In a core laboratory running large numbers of samples, it would make financial sense to pursue purchase of a complex, multifaceted system, but a smaller, individual lab running simpler assays might need fewer capabilities. Biosafety protection might be of prime importance. Also take note of each system’s sensitivity, resolution, dynamic range, detection capabilities, and speed to narrow down your choices, especially the software used, which will in large part determine the system’s ease of use.

CyAn ADP High-Performance Flow Cytometer from Beckman Coulter IncE Gallios Flow Cytometer from Beckman Coulter Inc MoFlo XDP Flow Cytometry Cell Sorter from Beckman Coulter Inc Flow Cytometry WorkCell from Hudson Robotics, Inc

Latest trends in flow cytometry

Advances in flow cytometry center on updates in laser and detection technologies. Also newsworthy:

  • Software that enables more complex experimental analyses
  • Miniaturized instruments with advanced capabilities
  • Customized instruments for extended flexibility
  • Systems geared toward use in stem cell biology
  • Portable units for medical, environmental, and marine biology applications.

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