What services does FCF offer?

  • Access to modern and well-maintained equipment for FACS analysis
  • Individual advice and assistance in planning flow cytometric experiments
  • Hands-on training on FACS analysis on our available instruments
  • Cell sorting under safety level S1 and S2 as a service according to user demands
  • Cell sorting of human cells from liquor, blood and tissue under safety level S2 conditions
  • Advice in sample preparation by providing state-of-the-art protocols for cell preparation from mouse and human tissues, and cell staining
  • Access to antibodies and other reagents to allow pre-sort enrichment of target cells, proper compensation, viability staining and control of staining specificity
  • Advice in analysis and interpretation of experimental FACS data
  • Provision of software to analyse FACS data
  • Seminars informing about opportunities, basic principles and recent advances in flow cytometry

Who can use the services offered by FCF?

In the first instance, FCF is open to all members of the medical faculty of RWTH Aachen. Depending on utilised capacity scientists from other research institutes are also welcome to use our services.

How can you benefit from the services of the FCF?

Flow Cytometry is the gold-standard technology for purification and analysis of cells with complex phenotypes and facilitates research in all priority fields of the medical faculty. Technical advances in flow cytometry have set the ground for breakthrough discoveries in cell biology, immunology, molecular medicine and translational medicine.

The complexity of FACS technology creates hurdles for the individual scientist to make full use of Flow Cytometry. The FCF enables use of flow cytometry across disciplines and allows for the purification of highly defined cell populations. 

FCF enables the use of flow cytometry-based working techniques across the boundaries of individual research disciplines on state-of-the-art and excellently maintained equipment.

Material of safety level S1 can be sorted and analyzed in the FCF. Potentially infectious human primary cells and materials that fall under safety level S2 can also be sorted and analyzed under safety level S2 as a service.

The FCF will furthermore advise you in the planning, execution and interpretation of FACS experiments.


Flow Cytometry – How does it work?

Flow Cytometry simultaneously measures and analyses multiple properties of single particles as they pass a beam of laser light.

Measured parameters include particle size, granularity and relative fluorescence intensities. “Particles” can be single eukaryotic cells, microorganisms, or even non-cellular particles.  Sophisticated staining will not only reveal information about surface markers, but can be extended to cytosolic, nuclear or secreted molecules, identification of posttranslational modifications etc.

Flow cytometry supports the analysis of cells with complex phenotypes. Besides cell analysis a major application of Flow Cytometry is the physical separation and thereby purification of well-defined cells/particles from a heterogeneous population in a process called cell sorting. FACS-based cell purification allows for unmatched definition of cell phenotypes and is essential to obtain highly purified and well defined cell populations for further analysis, including in vivo cell transfers and “omics” technologies.

  Flow Cytometry based cell sorting using BD FACS Aria © FCF

Flow cytometry-based cell sorting 

  • The FCF enables flow cytometry-based cell sorting on our BD FACS Aria II and BD FACS Aria Fusion: In the flow cell, individual cells/particles pass through the light beam of a laser and the detection system.

    Up to eleven parameters (BD FACS Aria) or 18 parameters (BD FACS Aria Fusion), including particle size, granularity and relative fluorescence intensities, are detected. Cells of interest become electrically charged and then deflected in an electric field and can thus be collected separately from the other cells in a tube, a multiwell plate or on slides.

    Up to four different populations can be sorted simultaneously. In addition, it is also possible to sort single cells in e.g. 96-well multi-well plates.