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Department of Pathology


What is Flow Cytometry?

Flow cytometry is a generic name for techniques that involve the analysis and/or separation of cells, or other particles, by quantification of optical parameters. As widely practised today, this routinely uses suspensions of living, or fixed cells streamed past one or more lasers from which various light scattering and fluorescence parameters are detected using different detectors. Although these techniques are most widely used in mammalian biology, they can be applied to almost any particle with useful optical properties, including bacteria, viruses, subcellular organelles, and artificial particles, for example, polystyrene beads bearing ligands or antibodies.

Examples of applications

Cell sorting

  • Separation of up to 6 sub-populations simultaneously. 

  • Bulk or single cell sorting into different collection tubes or multi-well plates (from 6-well to 1536-well plates)

  • Separation of live or fixed samples that can be used in several downstream applications like immunophenotyping, cell cycle analysis, western blots, CRISPR screening, SMART-Seq, 10x genomics, etc. 

  • The Cambridge Genomics Services facility is also located in the Department of Pathology and provides services like next-generation sequencing, microarray and analysis. Please contact them for more information. 


  • Immunophenotyping

  • Transfection efficiency by measuring fluorescent proteins levels

  • Cell cycle

  • Proliferation assays

  • Apoptosis and cell viability assays

  • RNA detection assays

  • Intracellular calcium flux

  • Rare event analysis

Instruments available in the facility

In the facility, we have available not only a few classical flow cytometers (cell sorters and analysers) but also a full spectrum analyser.  

Cell Sorters

  • Beckman Coulter MoFlo Astrios (5 lasers, 19 detectors)
  • BD Aria III (4 lasers, 16 detectors)
  • BD Aria IIu (3 lasers, 9 detectors)


  • Cytek Biosciences Aurora (5 lasers, full spectrum analyser) 
  • Thermo Fischer Attune NxT (4 lasers, 14 detectors)
  • Beckman Coulter CytoFLEX S (4 lasers, 13 parameters) 
  • BD LSR II (4 lasers, 17 parameters)
  • CytoFLEX LX (5 lasers, 19 parameters)

How to get access to the facility?  

We welcome enquiries regarding possible uses.

All users that wish to use the flow cytometry facility located in the Department of Pathology need to request an account in our online booking system called PPMS.  

Once the facility's manager approves your account, all sorting and training requests and bookings will be processed via PPMS.