University Flow Cytometry Resource

The UFCR provides comprehensive instrument training and other services to the institutional research and educational community at the University of Minnesota and the greater metropolitan scientific community at large.

Flow cytometry uses fluorescent probes to identify and characterize cells, bacteria or other particles. Objects tagged with fluorescent molecules enter the cytometer via a fluid stream. The cells then pass by a series of lasers, each of which emit a specific wavelength of light. The fluorescent probes are excited by the laser and then emit light energy. The fluorescent signal is detected and amplified, then translated into an electronic signal, which is output to a computer workstation. Information about the size and granularity of a cell may be recorded, as well. The result is an electronic file containing the measured information, which may be represented in a graphical format using specific software to interpret the file. This same process may be performed on a cell sorting cytometer which additionally allows for the capture of subsets of the cells, bacteria or particles to be used by the customer in a subsequent, downstream procedure.