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Best Flow Cytometry Cell Sorting Practices


As a researcher, you want to achieve the best cell sorting possible. So, how can you achieve that? There are clear strategies you can use to achieve great cell sorting results, including finding your ideal sample concentration, using magnetic sorting to enrich your population, suspending cells in the right buffer to avoid cell clumps, changing your instrument settings when sorting small cells, and optimizing your sample preparation and instrument when sorting large cells.

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6 Areas Of Consideration For Flow Cytometry Cell Cycle Analysis


Cell cycle seems like such a straightforward assay. At its heart, it is a one-color assay and should be a simple protocol to follow. However, as discussed before, fixation and dye concentrations are critical. Once those are optimized, it becomes important to run the cells low and slow in order to get the best quality histograms for analysis — the topic of another blog. Adding the critical CEN and TEN controls will help standardize the assay, and ensure consistency and reproducibility between runs while helping identify non-standard (aneuploid, polyploid) populations from normal ploidy. Trying to isolate and focus on specific components of the cell cycle can be done by addition of specific antibodies or using thymidine analogs. In the end, cell cycle analysis is a simple assay that has a great deal of potential. With work and optimization, a great deal of information about the life of a cell can be extracted.

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Why Cell Cycle Analysis Details Are Critical In Flow Cytometry


Cell cycle analysis appears to be deceptively easy in concept, but details are absolutely critical. It is not possible to hide the data if there is poor sample preparation, incorrect dye ratios, too much (or too little) staining time, etc. Forgetting RNAse when using PI will doom your data to failure. Take these basics into account as you move into performing this simple, yet amazingly informative assay.

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The Truth About Flow Cytometry Measurement Compensation


The topic of compensation is a critical one for the cytometrist to understand. It requires adherence to some specific rules, an understanding of how the instrument works, and how fluorescence occurs. Poor or incorrect compensation can easily lead to incorrect conclusions, and decreases the reliability and robustness of the data generated.
It is critical to question the wisdom of the “Protocol’s Book” and understand that the “truths” in this book are not always correct anymore. The new user doesn’t necessarily know any differently, and for this reason there are suboptimal practices that permeate flow cytometry experiments to this day.

Understanding compensation, and being armed with the knowledge, allows the researcher to combat those fairytales that continue to make their rounds in science. It is time to put them to bed and move forward with a full understanding of the process.

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Reproducibility In Flow Cytometry Requires Correct Compensation


Understanding the 3 rules of compensation, and applying them to your everyday workflows, is an essential step in good, consistent, and reproducible flow cytometry data. Making sure the controls are bright, and treated the same way, is essential. Don’t bring unfixed controls when your samples are fixed, as the controls will not reflect the spectra from the fixed samples. Make sure not to rely on the “Universal Negative”, use a single sample to set background, and collect enough events to make sure an accurate measurement is made, as this will further improve the quality of your control and therefore the data.

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