The first flow cytometer in the southern hemisphere, the FACS II, was introduced here at WEHI in 1977. Since then flow cytometry technology has continued to advance and is now a key resource for researchers.
Flow cytometry is widely used at WEHI where researchers often need to profile samples containing mixtures of cells. For example:
WEHI’s flow cytometry resources are also available for external use. Contact Simon Monard for further information.
In a flow cytometer:
Fluorescent tags can be used to identify various proteins both within and on the surface of cells as well as tags that bind DNA, RNA and various other cellular components.
About the animation: cells are delivered into the path of a focused blue laser beam. Cells with no label scatter some blue light. Cells labelled with a yellow or red fluorescent dye give off either of yellow or red pulse of light as well as scattered blue light. The scattered and fluorescent light pulses from many thousands of cells are measured and can be represented graphically to describe the composition of the sample.