About Flow Cytometry

Flow Cytometry (abbreviated: FCM) is a technique for counting and examining microscopic particles, such as chromosomes, by suspending them in a stream of fluid and passing them by an electronic detection apparatus. It allows simultaneous multiparametric analysis of the physical and/or chemical characteristics of up to thousands of particles per second. Flow cytometry is routinely used in the diagnosis of health disorders, especially blood cancers, but has many other applications in both research and clinical practice. A common variation is to physically sort particles based on their properties, so as to purify populations of interest.  This technique is known as fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS), which uses fluorescent labels as a method for detection.

What we use at Forsyth:

(Invitrogen™ Attune™ NxT acoustic focusing cytometer)
The Invitrogen™ Attune™ NxT flow cytometer features acoustic-assisted hydrodynamic focusing, which allows for sample-throughput rates up to 10 times faster than traditional cytometers.  Using violet side scatter detectors it is possible to run no-wash, no-lyse protocols with RBC contaminated samples.  There is also the added capability of using the 96 and 384 well plate autosampler for high throughput analysis.   Our current filter setup allows for analyzing up to 14 separate colors/cell markers from a single sample

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(BD FACSAria™ II cell sorter)
The fluidics system in the BD FACSAria™ II cell sorter is pressure driven. Positive air pressure forces sample cells through an optically gel-coupled cuvette flow cell. Hydrodynamic focusing guides particles in a single-file stream through the cuvette, where laser light intercepts the stream at the sample interrogation point.  After which the sample passes electrically charged deflection plates in the sort block, and is directed to its final collection tube, well plate, or slide in the sort collection chamber.  Temperature control, aerosol management, and multiple tube holders are available.  Our current filter setup allows for analyzing up to 13 separate colors/cell markers from a single sample.

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