Flow Cytometry is the measurement (meter) of characteristics of single cells (cyto) suspended in a flowing saline stream.
A basic flow cytometer consists of five main components:
Most scientific procedures involve obtaining measurements as average values for the whole population, however, flow cytometric analysis involves measurements being made separately on each particle within the suspension in turn, and thus is a very important feature of flow cytometry.
In addition several parameters can be measured on tens of thousands of individual cells within a few minutes, and this is the power of flow cytometry. The properties measured include a particles relative size, granularity, and fluorescence intensity. Any suspended particle or cell from 0.2-150 micrometers in size is suitable for analysis.
Flow Cytometry is a very useful tool and is used worldwide. Its importance in scientific research and diagnosis is increasing. It is now used routinely in many labs to detect the presence of specific surface and intracellular markers; measure metabolic activity and DNA content, among many other uses.
PDS offers a number of adjunctive tests used in the evaluation and diagnosis of hematopoietic disorders and infectious processes. Flow cytometry is a rapid and reliable method for immunophenotypic analysis of hematopoietic cells. This is one of the most common techniques utilized to evaluate bone marrow, peripheral blood and lymph nodes to identify the presence of monoclonal malignancy or leukemia. Flow cytometry is also used for evaluating lymphocyte subpopulations and determining CD ratios.