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Flow Cytometry Research Core Facility

Welcome to the Saint Louis University Flow Cytometry Research Core Facility

The Saint Louis University Flow Cytometry Research Core Facility was established in 1995 with the addition of its first flow cytometer…an instrument with 1 laser and the capability to detect 3 fluorescent parameters.  In 2002, this instrument was upgraded with a second laser, and the core’s 1st full-time staff member was brought on board to provide expertise and assistance with the increasingly important field of cytometry.  Since that time, the core has added 2 additional analyzers, 2 high speed cell sorters, and a 2nd full-time staff member.  The core now serves as an integral part of numerous research projects for investigators from multiple departments and disciplines.

In addition to the 5 flow cytometers available, the core oversees multiple ancillary instruments for use with sample preparation or further analysis.  A variety of software programs including FACSDiva (BD Biosciences), FlowJo (TreeStar), ModFit Lt (Verity Software House), and FCAP Array (BD Biosciences) are also available for use in data analysis.  The core staff is here to help all researchers, whether novice or expert in flow cytometry, understand how this very powerful technology can benefit your research endeavors.

What is Flow Cytometry?

Flow cytometry, typically using fluorescent probes which bind to specific cell associated molecules, allows measurements of various phenotypic, biochemical and molecular characteristics of individual cells (or particles) suspended in a fluid stream. As the cells flow past a focused laser beam of appropriate wavelength, the probes fluoresce and the emitted light is collected and directed to appropriate detectors. These detectors, in turn, translate these light signals into electronic signals proportional to the amount of light collected. Information regarding the relative size and granularity of a cell, for example, is also obtained as these characteristics influence the way in which light is scattered as the cell passes through the laser beam.  The use of flow cytometry can be divided into two broad categories, cell analysis and cell sorting.

Scheduling/Sample Submission - Flow Cytometry Research Core Facility

The facility is located in the Doisy Research Center room 765 and is available M-F from 8AM to 5PM. If you require services outside of these hours, please contact us to discuss. It is advised to schedule your analysis time at least one week in advance to assure the day and time slot you prefer, particularly for long experiments. Note: The FACSAria sorter is often booked up to 3-4 weeks in advance, and users are especially encouraged to schedule time as early as possible to avoid conflicts. To schedule time for flow analysis, please call 977-8877. Please leave a message if you are unable to reach us immediately, and we will return your call as soon as possible. Users are also welcome to stop by the flow core to check the master calendar, or you may email us at to check availability.

Samples may be submitted for analysis by placing them in the designated sample refrigerator just inside the flow core doors. Samples must be received in 12x75mm polystyrene Falcon tubes (“Facs tubes”) or in 1ml microtubes in a plate rack (can be run on LSR II and DxP FACSCalibur ONLY). Researchers must also submit detailed information about the antibodies/fluorochromes used and the desired gating and acquisition criteria, file naming, etc. Users are able to have their files uploaded to their external memory device to take back to their own labs for data analysis, or they may request that the flow core staff analyze the data for them. An extra computer workstation with FlowJo software loaded onto it is available free of charge for all core users to use when available. Users are highly encouraged to contact the flow core for help with multi-color panel design BEFORE purchasing antibodies and for advice on sorting preparation.

Fees - Flow Cytometry Research Core Facility
An hourly rate is charged for all cytometry services performed, including acquisition of samples and analysis. The total time used is rounded up to the next quarter hour (i.e.: 40 minutes of analysis = 45 minutes billed). There is never a charge for consultations or technical advice! There is no discount given to investigators that choose to run their own experiments.

Current Fees:

(Effective 12/1/12) Aria/SY3200 Analyzers
Internal Customers $97 $71
Internal Customers’ with Volume Discount 1 $80 $55
External Users – Gov’t funds, not-for-profit $146 $106
External Users – For Profit Organizations $176 $128
1 Volume discount rates are applied to Sorter Hours over 140 and Analysis hours over 200 in the fiscal year. Hours are reset to zero on July 1st.

Flow Cytometers Available
BD Biosciences FACSAria IIIu BD Biosciences FACSAria IIIu
4 lasers, up to 14-color analysis and high speed sorting of up to 4 populations simultaneously into plates or tubes
Excitation Laser/# of Fluorescent Detectors:
407nm/5 channels
488nm/2 channels (plus scatter)
561nm/4 channels
633nm/3 channels
Cytek DxP FACSCalibur
4 lasers, up to 12-color analysis
Excitation Laser/# of Fluorescent Detectors:
407nm/4 channels
488nm+561nm/5 channels (plus scatter)
637nm/3 channels
BD Biosciences FACSCanto II
2 lasers, up to 8 color analysis
Excitation Laser/# of Fluorescent Detectors:
488nm/5 channels (plus scatter) 633nm/3 channels
BD Biosciences LSR II
3 lasers, up to 10-color analysis
Excitation Laser/# of Fluorescent Detectors:
405nm/3 channels
488nm/4 channels (plus scatter)
633nm/3 channels
Sony Biotechnology SY3200
4 lasers, up to 17-color analysis and high speed sorting of up to 4 populations simultaneously into plates or tubes

(Located within a dedicated BSL-3 suite for biohazard sorting) Excitation Laser/# of Fluorescent Detectors: 407nm/8 channels 488nm/2 channels (plus scatter) 561nm/4 channels 633nm/3 channels

Other Instrumentation Available
LINCO Luminex 100 System LINCO Luminex 100 System
Analyzer for multi-plex fluorescent bead based assays

$15 per plate analyzed
Miltenyi Biotec AutoMACS Pro Miltenyi Biotec AutoMACS Pro

Cell selection/depletion/enrichment using magnetic labeled beads

$15 per sample run
Thermo Shandon Cytospin 4 Thermo Shandon Cytospin 4

Produces monolayer cell preps on slides

Contact Us

General Information:
Director: Dr. Daniel Hawiger

Manager: Joy Eslick
Analyst: Sherri Koehm
Phone #: 314-977-8877

Mailing Address: Doisy Research Center
1100 S. Grand (Rm 765)
St. Louis, MO 63104

Shipping Address: 1205 Carr Lane (DRC 765)
Attn: Flow Core Lab
St. Louis, MO 63104

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Dr. Bill Wold, Chairman
& Professor

Molecular Microbiology & Immunology
& Institute for Molecular Virology
Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Doisy Research Center
Molecular Microbiology & Immunology
& Institute for Molecular Virology
1100 S. Grand Blvd., Rm 716
St. Louis, MO 63104