Caltech Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting Facility

The Caltech Flow Cytometry & Cell Sorting Facility is a multi-user facility which provides expert assistance and advanced instrumentation to researchers for analyzing and separating various types of cells and particles according to their measurable properties.

Flow Cytometry is a highly advanced method of analyzing and sorting cells. It utilizes the integrated technologies of lasers, fluid hydrodynamics, piezoelectrics, computer graphics, fluorochemistry, and immunobiology, to tell a story weaving together cell cycles, cell surface markers, chemistry, genetics, physiology, and morphology of individual cells in cell populations.

Any cell or cell-sized particle can be analyzed for its light scatter and fluorescent properties and then sorted by those parameters to separate it from a heterogeneous population. Sheath fluid hydrodynamically focuses particles in suspension so that they pass single file in front of the lasers on the instrument. Forward Scatter (FSC) gives information about size, and Side Scatter (SSC) gives information about granularity. Fluorescence can be added by various methods depending on the application.

Applications of flow cytometry technology in our facility are user-driven by the researchers of the Caltech community.

Traditional applications include, but are not limited to, immunophenotyping, fluorescent protein analysis, and cell cycle analysis. Here at Caltech, we are able to support traditional applications, but we are known in the flow cytometry community for performing experiments that have not previously been attempted, and for utilizing the technology in new ways in various disciplines.

Steps to request service:

  • Fill out our biosafety form. Download it HERE
  • Send your completed biosafety form to cellsort@caltech.edu; mention that you are a new user and would like to use our facility for the first time
  • We will then schedule a consultation and determine the proper instrumentation based on your experiment.
  • After consultation, you will then be able to schedule your time directly with an operator for facility run experiments, or schedule your training on user-run instruments.