Flow Cytometry Facility

The Queen’s Medical Research Institute Flow Cytometry Facility provides a comprehensive service to all researchers requiring the use of flow cytometry technology and its many associated techniques. The facility allows researchers access to advanced cell sorting instrumentation and flow cytometry analysers, and is fully supported by highly trained facility staff.

Flow Cytometry

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Flow cytometry is the technology, which provides multi-parametric analysis of cells.  The cells can be analysed at a rate of thousands per second thus allowing identification of complex cell populations.  We have expert knowledge of many flow cytometry applications including the following: cell phenotyping, cell cycle and apoptosis analysis, functional assays (e.g. cell adhesion and phagocytosis), cell signalling (e.g. calcium responses), and cytokine production.

Equipment

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The core facility currently accommodates a high specification 5 laser, 15 colour FACSAria IIu cell sorter and LSRFortessa analyser with matched configurations. The arrangement of lasers and the flexibility of the filter layout make possible a vast array of experimental panel designs using a variety of antibody/fluorochrome combinations. There are 4 further cell analysers available; FACSCanto II, FACSCalibur , FACSArray and FACScan.

We are ever aware of emerging technologies and strive to keep our facility equipment at the cutting edge.  We are also in the process of acquiring an additional sorter with a Class II containment hood allowing improved biosafety standards.

All equipment is fully calibrated and logged to ensure consistent data collection. Instruments can be booked via our online booking system once appropriate training has been given.  Charging information can be found on our website.

Staffing

Facility staff are available to provide understanding of the principles behind the technology, training in the use of the equipment and relevant software and, troubleshooting of the instruments.   As well as all aspects of technical assistance, we are able to advise researchers on experimental design, sample preparation and data analysis.

Cell Sorting

A very popular service whereby the researcher is able to bring their cells to the facility and cell populations of interest can be physically separated from contaminating populations and used for further functional studies.  The sorter is only operated by facility staff and is capable of separating up to 4 populations simultaneously, sorting on to slides and single cell deposition into various multi-well plates. Researchers are encouraged to discuss the full scope of their experiments with the operator in advance so that sorting procedures can be fully optimised.

Please contact us if you are interested in using the QMRI Flow Cytometry Facility to benefit your research or if you have any questions relating to this technology.