Flow Cytometry (FACS) Service


Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) is a specialized type of flow cytometry which can be used to sort a heterogeneous mixture of cells into different homogeneous subpopulations of interest based upon the specific light scattering and fluorescent characteristics of each cell. In such a mixture of cells, the different subpopulations may have different antigenic or other markers on their surface. These markers can be tagged by the means fluorescently-labeled antibodies which can then be detected by laser and light detectors.

Figure 1.


As shown in Figure 1, cells are mixed with fluorescently labeled antibodies and are then entrained in the center of a narrow, rapidly flowing stream of liquid. The flow of liquid is arranged so that there is a large separation between cells relative to their diameter. A vibrating mechanism causes the stream of liquid to separate into individual droplets in such a way that there is a low probability of more than one cell per droplet. Just before the stream breaks into droplets, the flow passes through a fluorescence measuring station where the fluorescent character of interest of each cell is measured. An electrical charging ring is placed just at the point where the stream breaks into droplets. A charge is placed on the ring based on the immediately prior fluorescence intensity measurement, and the opposite charge is trapped on the droplet as it breaks from the stream. The charged droplets then fall through an electrostatic deflection system that diverts droplets into containers based upon their charge. The stream is then returned to neutral after the droplet breaks off.

This powerful and versatile technology can provide rapid, accurate, and high throughput cell analysis. It can be used to study cell cycle, cell proliferation, cell viability, cell phenotyping, cell signaling, intracellular cytokine secretion, etc. The advanced equipment in our laboratory allows us to conduct accurate experiments with high efficiency. We have experienced scientists that can provide ideal and customer-tailored experimental designs and our team can offer you the professional data analysis you need.

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