Flow Cytometry Core Facility

Facility Overview

The Flow Cytometry Facility, located at UMass Medical School in Worcester, provides a wide variety of cytometry services for internal and external investigators with state-of-the-art sorting and analyzing capabilities. For analysis we currently have four BD LSRII cytometers equipped with 2, 3, 4, or 5 lasers, two 4-color FACSCaliburs, and an Amnis FlowSight imaging cytometer.

Our cell sorters include a 19 parameter 5 laser FACSAria, a 14 parameter 4 laser FACSAria dedicated to BSL3 cell sorting, a 3 laser 6 color Beckman Coulter MoFlo XDP hi-speed cell sorter and a 2 laser 5 color FACSVantage . Additionally, the Sony SH800 is located in its own biosafety hood and is dedicated to BSL-2+ cell sorting.

Two LSR II's, the FlowSight, and one Calibur are dedicated for investigator self-use, after training is completed. We encourage all investigators to come to the main lab at S5-322 and learn how flow cytometry can be applied to their research.

What is flow cytometry?

Cytometry is the measurement of physical/chemical characteristics of cells or other biological particles. In flow cytometry, these measurements are made as cells in fluid suspension pass, one by one, through a measurement apparatus, the flow cytometer. Flow cytometry is performed on single cell suspensions and is not appropriate for analysis of cell clumps. Flow cytometry provides discrete measurements from each cell in the sample. This provides a distribution rather than an average of the measured characteristics in the cell sample.

Why use flow cytometry?

  • Thousands to millions of cells can be analyzed in a short period of time.
  • Provides statistical information very quickly.
  • Flexibility in the acquisition of data.
  • Ability to reanalyze archived data.
  • Increased sensitivity and specificity
  • Separate up to four target populations simultaneously.

Flow Cytometry allows the simultaneous measurement of:

  • Relative Cell Size
  • Internal Cellular Complexity
  • Relative Fluorescence Intensity
  • Multiple color/parameter analysis (up to 19 color, 21 parameter)