Flow cytometers are common lab instruments used to count and sort cells labeled with a fluorescent dye or similar marker. The instruments come in two basic types: the cell counter, which simply counts the labeled cells, and the cell sorter, which both counts and directs labeled cells into a microplate.
Many newer-model flow cytometers come equipped with multiple lasers, allowing them to measure more than one label at a time. Flow cytometers vary in speed, with older models running between 50 and 20,000 events per second, or EPS, and newer ones, such as the FACSAria and FACSCanto, from 70,000 to 100,000 EPS.
BioSurplus carries a wide variety of used cell counters and cell sorters from manufacturers such as Becton Dickinson and Beckman. In order to help you make an informed purchase, we’ve produced a short video and accompanying detailed article with helpful information on flow cytometers and the models we carry.
The video features BioSurplus Senior Vice President Fred Hill, who tells us about the different available types and models of flow cytometers and their specifications. The accompanying article covers in-depth material such as the different types of lasers, nozzle size and shape, and software.
See below for a transcription of the video:
“Flow cytometers are instruments that people can use to count or sort cells that have labels on them. Nowadays with the complexity of the labels that are available, it’s quite common for flow cytometers to have multiple lasers in them in order to measure two, three, sometimes six or seven different labels at the same time.
The difference between a cell sorter and just a counter is that a counter will literally just count the amount of cells that are labeled with a fluorescent type, whereas a sorter will actually direct cells into 96 well plate holes so that you can separate the cells that are labeled appropriately from the ones that you don’t want.
Flow cytometers can vary substantially in speed, so that’s one of the things that the customer wants to consider. Some of the older machines can do between 50 and then 20,000 EPS, which is events per second.
Faster machines that are coming out today are between 75 and over 100,000 EPS. Becton Dickinson makes several different lines, as does Beckman and the older machines such as a FACSCalibur or FACSVantage might be in the 20,000 range. Newer machines such as the FACSAria and FACSCanto as well as the MoFlo and others from Beckman can do 70 to 100,000.”
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