Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting Unit



Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting Unit. Presentation

Flow cytometry is a technique that allows the analysis of the physical and/or chemical characteristics of living cells and other biological particles. This technique is based on suspending the cells in a stream of fluid and passing one by one through a focalized laser beam. The impact of each cell with the beam of light produces signals corresponding to different parameters of cells which are collected by different detectors. These parameters provide information about cellular properties such as size and complexity. And, if the particle is stained with one or more fluorescent molecules, it will provide additional biological information when excited. The emitted light signals are converted to electronic pulses that can be processed by the computer.

The development of Cytometry comes together with early advances in microscopy. The first investigations were the UV light source on samples. However, it was in 1934 that the first technique for counting cells flowing through a capillary tube was described, and then flow cytometry was born. In 1880 fluorochromes were used for the first time; but it was not until 1960-70 that they were applied to cytometry to measure DNA cell content immunophenotyping. Over time, cell separation was firstly associated with cytometry. Los Alamos National Laboratories (USA) developed the first cell counter able to measure the presence of cells and to separate them into droplets and charge them. Cell sorters have the same performances and possibilities than flow cytometers; however, cell sorters present the additional capacity to separate (sorting) and recuperate particles selectively from the liquid suspension according to their characteristics.

The Flow Cytometry and Sorting Unit of GENYO is dedicated to the application and development of different techniques aimed at detecting the characteristics of biological particles through cytometry and cell sorting techniques, in order to provide to the users the state-of-the-art biomedical research.


The main task of the Flow Cytometry and Sorting Unit of GENYO is to provide technical support on cytometry to the research groups of the Center and to other entities outside the Center.

Thanks to our state-of-the-art equipment and the large experience of the scientific and technical staff of our Unit, it is possible to develop the applications required by the users. Therefore, it is possible to achieve one of the priorities of GENYO, that is to integrate the applied, translational, and basic investigation, minimizing the transition between the development of new technologies, products, and procedures, and their application in the field of health.

Also, the goal of the technical equipment of the Unit is to ease the generation of new systems for diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases associated to the human genetic variability by the application of new technologies, in order to obtain a research of excellence in the area of oncology and genomics applied to the health sector.