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Flow Cytometry Resource Laboratory

The Flow Cytometry laboratory at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine is a centralized service lab available to all Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and students. It is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation, allowing investigators to utilize the latest techniques in flow cytometry to enhance their research.

Flow cytometry is an essential and versatile analytical tool. It can rapidly measure multiple characteristics of single cells, as well as identify different types of cells in heterogeneous populations. The additional capability of cell sorting enables investigators to enrich or purify a particular cell type in a mixed population to allow further study.

A. Instrumentation

The BD FACSARIA is a cell sorter that can also be used as an analyzer. It is equipped with 488nm, 633nm, and 407nm excitation sources and is able to analyze up to eleven parameters (FSC, SSC, and nine fluorescent detectors) at the same time. The Aria is capable of processing up to 70,000 events per second and sorting up to four different cell populations at once. It is also equipped with an Automatic Cell Deposition Unit (ACDU) that allows cells to be sorted into plates or on slides.

The Coulter EPICS XL-MCL is a benchtop analyzer with a 488 nm excitation source and is able to analyze up to six parameters (FSC, SSC, and 4 fluorescent detectors) at once. It is capable of processing up to 10,000 events per second. For high volume users, the Multi Carousel Loader (MCL) can process up to 32 tubes at a time and allows for “walk away” sample handling.

B. Technical Expertise

The flow cytometry lab offers the following services:

  • Multi-parameter analysis including (but not limited to) phenotyping, viability, apoptosis, DNA cell cycle and ploidy, cytokines, proliferation, fluorescent proteins, bead array, and morphology.
  • Data analysis
  • Consultation
  • Cell sorting
  • Experiment troubleshooting
  • Instrument training
  • Publication quality graphics
  • Lectures and Workshops
  • Literature and protocol resources
C. Using the Flow Cytometry Laboratory

  • All investigators should contact Melissa Makris, the Laboratory Supervisor, at 231-4115, or Dr. William Huckle, the Laboratory Coordinator, at 231-3620.
  • The staff of the flow cytometry laboratory is available to run samples, analyze samples, and assist in the development of research protocols utilizing the flow cytometer. Specific experiments are scheduled directly with the flow cytometry laboratory staff and charges are assessed on an hourly basis.
  • To schedule an appointment for consultations or experiments, the investigator should call the flow cytometry laboratory and speak to a laboratory staff member who will calendar the appointment.

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