Capabilities and Applications

The techniques of flow cytometry and cell sorting can be applied to many disciplines. Methods have been developed to measure the natural fluorescence of phytoplankton, determine the sex of birds, study the characteristics of sperm, and determine the quality of a metropolitan water supply.

Traditional uses of flow cytometry include applications in immunology, hematology, oncology, parasitology, and genetics.

Following is a list of some of the measurable parameters of cells and particles using flow cytometry:

  • Relative cell size/shape
  • Cytoplasmic granularity
  • Cell surface antigens
  • Membrane integrity (viability)
  • DNA content
  • DNA degradation (apoptosis)
  • Chromatin structure
  • DNA synthesis
  • Membrane permeability
  • Membrane potential (dye/drug uptake)
  • Membrane-bound/cytoplasmic calcium