A cell sorter in the BD Biosciences suite of instruments is the BD FACSAria™ III. This instrument is a cell sorter that is designed with high-performance cell sorting for a wide range of applications. The sorting capabilities of this instrument are tied to its design, which involves using gel-coupled flow cell and a fixed optical system. This design is very similar to BD Biosciences analyzers, such as BD LSRFortessa™ and BD FACSCanto™ II. The design of the flow cell coupled with the design of the nozzle allows the system to obtain a significant collection of light, which in turn speeds up the rate that the particle is able to pass through the nozzle.
In addition to its cell sorting capabilities, the BD FACSAria also includes sensitivity for multicolor and sorting applications, an optics system that provides multicolor detection, and software for data acquisition and analysis. The optics system that the BD fACSAria uses enables the system to have an increased resolution and sensitivity that is beneficial for detecting dim cell populations for accurate sorting and identification. The advanced optics system also enhances multicolor assays and the design of panels. Researchers have options for laser excitation wavelengths for cell illumination. The collection optics system uses filters that are spectral to scatter direct light and fluorescence signals.
The BD FACSAria is able to identify several parameters at the same time. The system supports six lasers and a maximum of four beam spots that are spatially separated. Researchers are able to select a maximum of six laser wavelengths and a maximum of 20 positions for detection. The laser wavelengths are 488 nm, 633 nm, 561 nm, 445 nm, and 375 nm.
All of the flow cytometry data that is generated with the BD FACSAria is handled by the BD FACSDiva™ software application. Since this software is used by other BD instruments, researchers can easily move assay designs to another system, if necessary. The BD FACSDiva software application provides several features in addition to data acquisition and analysis. One example of the feature offerings is the Cytometer Setup and Tracking (CS&T) component that provides baseline settings and enhances the sensitivity and fluorescent resolution that the instrument provides.
Another key feature of the BD FACSAria III is it built-in innovation. As the requirements for researchers change, the BD FACSAria III can adapt. Whether researchers need backwards compatibility or to upgrade to obtain additional lasers, they can do easily so using a field upgrade.
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My other passions include grilling, wine tasting, and real food. To be honest, my biggest passion is flow cytometry, which is something that Carol and I share. My personal mission is to make flow cytometry education accessible, relevant, and fun. I’ve had a long history in the field starting all the way back in graduate school.