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Flow Cytometry Cell Sorting Facility

What is Flow Cytometry?

Flow cytometry analyzes a population of cells on a cell-by-cell basis, a critical capability for today’s researchers and clinicians who are looking for the very few cells among the many cells in a sample (like finding needles in a haystack) that will enable them to study a disease state or biological process. Second, flow cytometry is extraordinarily rapid. Routine sample analysis rates can range up to 10,000 cells per second—an incredible advancement over historical methods of visually examining and counting cells. Finally, flow cytometry has the capacity to simultaneously measure multiple parameters (multiplexing) of single cells. Multiplexing allows researchers and clinicians to gather more information from a single sample faster than ever before. These capabilities have made flow cytometry a powerful tool with multiple applications for researchers and clinicians alike. – BD Biosciences

What is Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS)?

FACS is a technique to purify specific cell populations based on phenotypes detected by flow cytometry. This method enables researchers to better understand the characteristics of a single cell population without the influence of other cells. First, the parameters are set so that the flow cytometer can identify cells of interest. The stream of fluid containing the sample is funneled at high pressure by the fluidics system into a single stream so that cells pass one at a time through the laser beam where information about the cells is detected. If a cell matches the parameters specified, the cytometer applies an electrical charge to it. This causes the charged cell to be deflected toward a collection tube. The researcher can then take the cells of interest and grow them in culture or study them in other assays. The droplets that are not charged continue in the stream to a waste container. The process is rapid and can be performed at speeds of up to 10,000 cells per second. – BD Biosciences

The Center for Cellular Profiling has 2 BD Biosciences FACSAria Fusion Cell Sorters capable of analyzing and sorting populations of interest and can be booked by the hour with experiments being carried out by experienced core personnel.

New to Flow or want to expand your understanding and improve your experiments?  

BD Biosciences: “Scientist to Scientist” Educational Series Videos

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