Flow Cytometry Facility
We provide competent scientific and technical assistance for fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) and flow cytometric analysis. We assist with experiment and panel design, data analysis, provide advice on sample preparation and troubleshooting. Operation of the cell sorters (including measurements without sorting) are operator-based. Besides providing flow cytometric support, we conduct own research focusing on improving measurement assurance.
Flow cytometry and FACS are widely used technologies for cell analysis and isolation in biomedical research and diagnostics but also other fields, e.g. plant research, microbiome analysis. Flow cytometry is a powerful high throughput technology, that enables identification of cells or specific cell subsets or generally any particle in suspension on the basis of their physical and/or fluorescent characteristics using a so termed flow cytometer. Cells are focused in a fluid stream and travel individually through a laser beam (interception point). Here, relative cells size and surface complexity, relative internal structure and relative fluorescence intensity can be determined. For phenotyping of cell subsets, either autofluorescence, expression of fluorescent proteins (GFP, RFP etc.) or fluorochrome-labelled antibodies against numerous cell-specific proteins can be used. The FACS technology enables isolation of individual cells or particles of interest based on these properties, aka flow cytometry cell sorting. A flow cytometer is able to analyze and sort hundreds of cells in a single second and thus can provide repetitive results in a very short amount of time. For a comprehensive introduction and more information on flow cytometry, please see Cossarizza et al. Guidelines for the use of flow cytometry and cell sorting in immunological studies (doi.org/10.1002/eji.201646632).
The Flow Cytometry lab operates two cell sorters (BD FACSAriaII and BD FACSAria Fusion) and one cell analyser (Accuri), which are state-of-the-art instruments.