‘Pointillism’ is a technique in painting where small dots of colour are added by the artist, one-by-one, building up to form an image, maybe a man, or a lakeside scene like Seurat's Grande Jatte and Circus.
Data from flow cytometry is not dissimilar; it builds up an abstract picture of a sample, with each cell forming a kind of pointillist’s dot, its position on the painting represents some property of the cell, such as size, or ‘granularity’, its colour something like a fluorescent marker. As more sample, more cells, are analysed the picture builds up, cells with similar characteristics grouping together, into separate 'populations'.
But flow cytometry allows more than two properties to be measured; the picture becomes a sculpture, viewable from different angles, rather than just the front. For example, by using antibodies against different markers on a cell, each labelled with a different fluorescent dye, the picture becomes three, four, five or more, dimensional; revealing otherwise hidden details – like sub-pictures – behind each cluster of 2D dots.
Each new dimension reveals something different about a cell, the proteins it contains or the markers on its surface, for example. By selecting a population of cells – ‘gating’ – with similar size and granularity, say, smaller and smaller subsets of cells with specific physical properties can be isolated and identified.
It is this ability to drill down into samples, isolating and revealing distinct groups of cells with unique physical characteristics and properties that make flow cytometry such a powerful technique, used throughout the life sciences. Scientists in many different fields use flow cytometry assays for their analysis including cancer research, drug discovery, HIV screening, academic research, bioprocessing and more. To help meet this need we've created a diverse catalogue of products suited for use in flow cytometry, from whole assays to individual antibodies and labels.
We've gathered together a wide range of flow cytometry products, from individual conjugated antibodies, to complete kits and microspheres for instrument set-up, calibration as well as practicle applications such as labelling. Our product manufacturers include Acris, Bangs Laboratories, Dendritics, Diaclone, Exbio, and Imgenex.
An important aspect of flow cytometry is choosing the right dye or conjugate for your specific situation, either to avoid spectral overlap, get the best signal to noise ratio, or simply to ensure that it's excitation wavelength is within the ranges possible for your flow cytometer. So if you're unsure about which Dye conjugate is best suited for your needs take a look at our Colour Chart and see if that helps.
If you already know which dyes your after, then click the link below to see the range of products we have available for it:
We have a number of ready to go flow cytometry assay kits, including:
Fix and Perm® – For suspension stainings and flow cytometric analyses of intracellular antigens.
KOMBITEST – A wide range of kits designed for the identification and enumeration of various cell populations, such as human mature NK cells in erythrocyte lysed whole blood (See figure 1 and 2, opposite)
Microspheres offer a huge diversity of different application for flow cytometry, from sample labelling and purification to calibration and diagnostics. Below are a some of our novel product line to assist in these applications.
SoluLink – The latest UV-tracable biotinylation and linkable magnetic beads
Nano-screenMag – A novel labelling and detection system now available in blue, green, orange, pink and red
Fluorescence Reference Standards – labelled with specific fluorochromes to exhibit the same spectral characteristics as labelled cells
Ultra Rainbow Fluorescent Particles – internally labelled with multiple fluorophores, enabling excitation between 365-650nm and are used for general QC for 3-9 colour instruments
Quantum™ – for the detection threshold, resolution, and linearity of the instrument
Our partners Bangs Laboratories have created a flow cytometry technical reference guide that you can find HERE. It is a useful resource to help you understand more about flow cytometry.
If you're looking for a deeper introduction to flow cytometry, then our pals from Innova Biosciences and Chromocyte have you covered, below is a youtube video of their free webinar 'An introduction to flow cytometry'.
While flow cytometry is a powerful and flexible technique, it can also be complicated to put together panels of different antibodies and labels, which is why we're happy to also point you towards Chromocyte, a FREE comprehensive online resource for designing multi-parameter flow cytometry experiments and finding flow cytometry antibody & cell-based assay products and knowledge.
A recent report on the expected trends in flow cytometry has predicted major changes to the field over the next ten years that include smaller and easier to use lasers with enhanced applications, improvements in associated IT to reduce manufacture costs and the development of new monoclonal antibody and molecular diagnostic tests to further enhance and simplify current assays.
There are many dye-conjugates available today for analyses. Sometimes we just need a little help to choose / clarify which ones are best suited for our research. We hope that the chart below is helpful to you, in some way, as an aid to deciding the best product to opt for. If you are still unsure which one to opt for, then please to not hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
|Visualisation||Dye||Excitation Max. (nm)||Emmision (nm)|
|DyLight™ 405||400||405 - 420|
|Pacific Blue™||410||405 - 455|
|DyLight™ 488||493||488 - 518|
|FITC||494||488 - 518|
|Alexa-Fluor® 488||496||488 - 519|
|Cy™ 3||548||532 - 566|
|TRITC||541||532 - 572|
|PE||496||488 - 575|
|DyLight™ 549||562||532 - 576|
|PE-Texas Red®||496||532 - 615|
|Texas Red®||589||561 - 615|
|PE-DyLight™ 594||496||532 - 618|
|DyLight™ 594||593||561 - 618|
|APC||650||640 - 660|
|PE-Cy™ 5||496||532 - 664|
|Cy™ 5||646||640 - 664|
|Alexa Fluor® 647||650||640 - 665|
|PE-DyLight™ 649||649||532 - 674|
|DyLight™ 649||649||640 - 674|
|PerCP||482||561 - 675|
|PE-Cy™ 5.5||496||532 - 692|
|PerCP-Cy™ 5.5||482||561 - 692|
|Alexa Fluor® 700||702||640 - 774|
|PE-Cy™ 7||496||532 - 774|
|APC-Cy™ 7||650||640 - 774|
|APC-Alexa Fluor® 750||650||640 - 775|
|PE-DyLight™ 750||496||532 - 778|
|APC-DyLight™ 750||650||640 - 778|
* Please note this chart is just meant to be a general guide - details can vary dependent upon the specific use of the items listed above.
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