Flow Cytometry Facility
Flow cytometry is the rapid sequential analysis of single cells, usually using laser light and fluorescent labels. Many different monoclonal antibodies with fluorescent labels are now available, and these can be combined to identify specific cell types in complex mixtures of cells. They can also be used to identify functional molecules within cells, such as cytokines, or processes such as cell death. Other types of fluorescent marker are also available, for example to measure DNA content or cell division. Specific gene activity can be monitored using markers related to green fluorescent protein (GFP). Some instruments can additionally use these measurements to define then physically separate individual cells with specified characteristics.