Analytical Platform Review: Flow Cytometer (FACS and MACS)

Flow cytometry and Flow Cytometers

Flow cytometry is a widely used method for analyzing the expression of cell surface and intracellular molecules, characterizing and defining different cell types in a heterogeneous cell population, assessing the purity of isolated subpopulations, and analyzing cell size and volume. It allows simultaneous multi-parameter analysis of single cells.

Application of Flow Cytometry
Immunophenotyping: To identify and quantify populations of cells in a heterogeneous sample. These cell subsets are measured by labeling population-specific proteins with a fluorescent tag on the cell surface. 

Cell Sorting: to characterize each cell as it passes through the laser. The sorter then uses sophisticated electronics and fluidics to identify and sort the cells of interest out of the fluidic stream into a test tube.

Cell Cycle Analysis: To analyze replication states using fluorescent dyes to measure the four distinct phases of the cell cycle. The assay may be devised to measure cell aneuploidy associated with chromosomal abnormalities.

Apoptosis: To identify the live cells, necrotic cells, and apoptotic cells relying on the differences in morphological, biochemical, and molecular changes.

Cell Proliferation Assays: To measure cell proliferation by labeling resting cells with a cell membrane fluorescent dye, carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester (CFSE).

Principle of Flow Cytometer (Watch Video)

Flow Cytometer Platforms That You Can Choose From 

BD FACSCanto™ Flow Cytometer

Technical Specification
Built on more than 30 years of BD experience and leadership in flow cytometry and multicolor analysis, the BD FACSCanto™ flow cytometry system delivers reliable performance, accuracy, and ease-of-use for today's busy clinical laboratories. To further expand your lab's best-in-class clinical diagnostic services, the BD FACSCanto system has 10-color capability. Optical enhancements and a 4-3-3 configuration deliver high sensitivity and resolution for accurate results.

BD LSRFortessa™ Flow Cytometer

The BD LSRFortessa™ cell analyzer offers the ultimate in choice for flow cytometry, providing power, performance, and consistency. Designed to be affordable and expandable, the BD LSRFortessa has the flexibility to support the expanding needs of multicolor flow cytometry assays. 
The instrument delivers the optimal sensitivity and resolution required for multicolor applications. The BD LSRFortessa cell analyzer can be used to detect up to 18 colors simultaneously and supports up to 4 lasers and is upgradeable to 7 lasers through the special order program. In addition to the reduced size, design innovations make filters and detectors more accessible for easier setup of new experiments.

BD FACSCelesta™ Flow Cytometer

The BD FACSCelesta™ flow cytometer is designed to make multicolor flow cytometry more accessible and allow researchers to benefit from new innovations in instrument and reagent technology. Parallel advances in optical and reagent technology are pairing multilaser, multidetector instruments with bright new dyes, enabling increasingly deep and powerful insights in cell analysis.
As the number of lasers and detectors has increased, so has the availability of new fluorophores—expanding the options available for cell analysis. The BD FACSCelesta platform offers multiple configurations delivering the performance required for multicolor applications. Each configuration has been optimized to enable the use of legacy as well as innovative BD Horizon Brilliant™ dyes that minimize spectral overlap and simplify the experimental design and analysis for experienced as well as new flow cytometry researchers. The system is designed to fit on the benchtop and runs BD FACSDiva™ software, which streamlines the workflow from system setup to data acquisition to data analysis.

BD FACSMelody™ Cell Sorter

Technical Specification
The BD FACSMelody™ Sorter offers a simplified and streamlined approach to cell sorting. With a combination of high-quality BD hardware, software, and reagents, the BD FACSMelody System allows fast, consistent results regardless of operator skill level. A streamlined workflow helps improve lab efficiency and throughput. With its high sensitivity and resolution, the BD FACSMelody Sorter can identify and isolate target cells for up to nine colors, a significant extension of color capability compared to similar cell sorters. This extended multicolor capability allows dim or rare subpopulations to be identified and produces more data with less sample.

Attune NxT Flow Cytometer

Technical Notes
Attune NxT Flow Cytometer continues to offer more options, increased flexibility, and software updates that further improve performance, reliability, and robustness. Since its initial unveiling, the compact system with innovative acoustic technology is moving ahead with added new functionalities and capabilities making multiparametric flow cytometry available to both new and experienced researchers. Experience the difference acoustic assisted hydrodynamic focusing technology brings

Novocyte Advanteon Flow Cytometer Systems 1-3 Lasers

The NovoCyte Advanteon flow cytometer builds upon the highly successful NovoCyte, and NovoCyte Quanteon. The system provides an advanced set of capabilities for the most demanding scientists, yet is remarkably simple to operate. The NovoCyte Advanteon can accommodate high-end and increasingly sophisticated multicolor flow cytometry assays. The system offers flexibility with 1, 2, or 3 laser options, up to 21 fluorescence channels, and 23 independent detectors.

SH800S Cell Sorter (Sony)

Technical Specification
The benchtop SH800S cell sorter permits the sorting of a wide range of cell sizes and applications using the 70 µm, 100 µm, and 130 µm microfluidics sorting chips. This novel, chip-based design is fully integrated with comprehensive fluidics controls and advanced automation for set-up, acquisition, sort, and analysis to make sorting less subjective, more precise, and easier to use.
SH800S is flexible and can support a variety of applications for individual and core labs. For applications where cross-contamination is a concern, optional e-beam sterilized consumables can be used to replace sample line and sorting chip. An optional class A2 Level II biosafety cabinet provides protection for personnel and products.
The biosafety cabinet was custom designed for the SH800 and tested by the Baker Company to meet many international standards. The optical design offers up to 4 collinear excitation lasers (488 nm, 405nm, 561nm, and 638nm) and 6 fluorescence detectors. The six free-form PMTs enable the detection of fluorescence signals from any laser-based on filter selection.


Isolating and analyzing blood or cultured cells, bacteria, algae, yeasts, microparticles and even nanoparticles like extracellular vesicles pose no challenge for this compact but powerful cytometer in any of its configurations.
CytoFLEX Platform flow cytometers demonstrate outstanding sensitivity and reproducibility with six excitation wavelengths (355 nm, 375 nm, 405 nm, 488 nm, 638 nm, 808 nm).
Technical Specification

Principle of Magnet Assisted Cell Sorting (Watch Video)

 MACSQuant® Analyzer 10 Flow Cytometer (Miltenyi Biotec)

The MACSQuant® Analyzer is versatile and power required for modern flow cytometry applications. The applications include mining for rare cells, analyzing the efficiency of your cell manufacturing process, or investigating signaling pathways. It has true hands free automation features.