A powerful technology that allows the analysis of millions of cells on an individual basis in a few seconds.
Each cell is monitored regarding one or several features, typically an expression of surface proteins, production of cytokines, or DNA content. The cells are labeled with fluorochrome-tagged antibodies or other fluorescent staining probes.
A flow instrument works by having a laser exciting fluorescent-labeled cells one by one and measuring the intensity of the emitted light signal. Software algorithms are used to interpret the signals and display quantitative results.
Flow Cytometry is frequently used to quantify and monitor the abundance of abnormal cells in different forms of cancer, such as leukemias and lymphomas, and define the disrupted balance of cell types in immunodeficiency conditions.