Flow Cytometry has been an invaluable tool for scientific advancement in immunology, oncology, stem cell research, infectious disease, vaccines, and drug development research. As a versatile and powerful technique, it can be used in various ways and tailored to meet your research needs.  Applications include precise evaluation of cell immune profiles, cell cycle, apoptosis, or functional responses such as cytokine production, phosphorylation, phagocytosis, and more.  Importantly, each approach generates data on a single cell level and allows for investigation of cell responses.  

Driven by a need for deeper insights, this technology has evolved steadily. From early cell morphology-based characterization to conventional flow cytometers to groundbreaking spectral technology, it continues to evolve in exciting ways. Join us in this post as we consider how conventional flow cytometry continues to be a stronghold in research applications.

Conventional Flow Cytometry

Conventional flow cytometry equipment and techniques have a long history of providing reliable and reproducible data from basic research to clinical sample evaluation.  Dating back to the mid-20th century, early cytometers allowed the analysis of cells by distinguishing populations based on size and granular complexity. In the following decades, technology evolved to include more complex measurements.  This was achieved by using lasers, expanding fluorochrome availability, and commercialization efforts that drove technological advancements.  All these efforts led to today’s conventional cytometers that distinguish upwards of 20 unique parameters on a single cell.  

So, how do conventional cytometers work?  The method begins with sample preparation into a single-cell suspension, followed by staining with fluorochrome-conjugated antibodies directed against specific antigens.  During acquisition, the cells are moved through the cytometer by a fluidics system and pass by lasers that excite the cell-bound fluorochrome-labeled antibodies.  The emitted light is filtered, separated, and captured by detectors to allow simultaneous measurement of multiple parameters.  

Following sample acquisition, the data is analyzed using software that allows researchers to gate and identify specific cell populations based on their characteristics.  The fluorescent signals are displayed in histograms or dot plots, representing the distribution of fluorescence intensity within the cell population. Quantitative information, such as the percentage of cells expressing a particular marker or the mean fluorescence intensity, can be extracted and provide valuable information about the cellular profile and response.

Conventional flow cytometry’s familiarity, efficiency, and speed are advantageous and make it ideal for focused applications and evaluation of routine parameters.

KCAS Bio, Your partner for Conventional Flow Cytometry 

At KCAS Bio, conventional flow cytometers have allowed robust, consistent, and reliable sample evaluation for over 12 years.  Utilizing five laser instruments, we can evaluate up to 20 parameters in a single cell and have developed hundreds of assays customized to meet the needs of highly unique programs.  Recognizing that not every program requires a custom assay, we’ve also heavily invested in developing and validating off-the-shelf assays for time and budget-efficient studies.  

Reach out to KCAS Bio today to learn more about how we can leverage conventional flow cytometry to support your research needs.