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MRC Toxicology Unit


Flow cytometry is a powerful tool for the analysis of multi parameters of all types of single cells and microparticles. Our facility has 3 self-use FACS analysers and an expert-led high speed cell sorter; a BD FACSAria II – cell sorter and analyser which has five lasers (Blue (488 nm), Yellow Green (561 nm), Red (640 nm), UV (355 nm) and Violet (405 nm)) and can detect up to 16 colours simultaneously. It has an aerosol management installed and it is able to perform four-way sorting as well as automatic cell deposition for sorting onto tubes, TC plates or slides. Sort rates are 20,000 cells per second for lymphocytes and 10,000 cells per second for cells >10um. 

The FACS analysers in our core facility are a BD FACS Canto II with 2 lasers (blue argon,488nm and red HeNe, 640nm) capable of detecting up to six fluorescent signals (FITC, PE, PE-Cy5.5, PE-Cy7, APC and APC-Cy7) 2 BD FACS Caliburs also with two lasers (Blue and Red).

We are in the process of upgrading the two BD FACS Caliburs for two BD LSR Fortessas; one with 5 lasers and another one with 4 lasers.

It is strongly recommended that the planning of the experiment and the choice of dyes is discussed prior to ordering any antibodies/compounds to ensure they fit the instrument configurations. New users should contact Dr Lucia Piñon (lpp29@mrc-tox., tel: 0116 252 5218) for training, and experimental set up advice.  Once users are trained they operate the FACS analysers by themselves, whilst the FACS sorter (BD FACS AriaII) is operated solely by the manager of the facility (Dr Lucia Piñon).

Group members