Flow cytometry is a technique used to detect and measure physical and chemical characteristics of a population of cells or particles. A sample containing cells or particles is suspended in a fluid and injected into the flow cytometer instrument. The sample is focused to ideally flow one cell at a time through a laser beam and the light scattered is characteristic to the cells and their components. Cells are often labeled with fluorescent markers so that light is first absorbed and then emitted in a band of wavelengths. Tens of thousands of cells can be quickly examined and the data gathered are processed by a computer. A flow cytometry analyzer is an instrument that provides quantifiable data from a sample.
Mass cytometry is a powerful technology for single-cell analysis. Although initially designed for immune cell studies, it is currently used e.g. in studies on homogenized organs and tumours. In contrast to the fluorescent labels in flow cytometry, mass cytometry uses rare heavy metal isotope tags to identify up to 45 markers. As the isotopes are practically non-overlapping, the platform allows clear label separation and possibility of truly high-dimensional analysis.A review of the technology: Stern et al., 2018
A recent article citing CIC Helios: Jäppinen et al., 2019
Cell sorting is the process of taking cells from an organism and separating them according to their type. The cells are labelled and tagged to identify areas of interest and their affect.They are separated based on differences in cell size, morphology (shape), and surface protein expression. The resulting homologous populations of cells have important applications in research and as therapeutics.