Flow cytometry or Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS™) allows for analysis, counting or actually sorting of a heterogeneous mixture of cells into different populations via physical and chemical characteristics using a flow cytometer. A cell suspension is focused to ideally flow one cell at a time through a laser beam and the scattered light is distinctive to the cells and their morphology. Cell constituents (e.g. proteins, nucleic acids…) can be labeled with fluorescent markers so that laser light is first absorbed and then emitted in characteristic wavelength regions. Tens of thousands of cells can be quickly examined and the data collected are processed by computer software.
Cells displaying the desired characteristics can be identified and counted. For cell sorting, the fluid stream is divided into numerous microscopic droplets. Droplets which contain a cell of interest are electrically charged and diverted into different receptacles by an electric field. The collected cells can subsequently be investigated via e.g. microscopy, biochemistry and functional experiments.
The Core Facility Flow Cytometry at the Paris-Lodron-University Salzburg offers all scientists access to flow cytometry based cell analyses and sorting meeting their specific needs and interests and provides dedicated help with experimental design. Our service includes operator-based cell sorting and, following individual training, independent sample acquisition and analyses. Besides support and teaching, the Flow Cytometry core facility is interested in further development and optimization of various aspects of flow cytometry.
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