Flow cytometry is a technique to analyze the physical and functional characteristics of each cell within a suspension of cells. This method is used to determine the proportions of different cell subpopulations in a cell culture. It can also measure a large number of cells very quickly for the parameters of cell size and DNA content as well as the presence of specific surface, intracellular or intranuclear molecules. These molecules are detected with fluorescent probes and lasers.
Today, new generations of devices are equipped with up to 7 lasers that measure over 30 different variables. Some devices sort cells according to these parameters and isolate them into cell subpopulations for further analysis or culture so that their functions can be studied.
Individual training on each system is available by appointment. The BD FACSAria III cell sorter has a negative pressure hood to sort potentially infectious samples, including human cells from healthy donors.