Simple flow cytometer construction

Ray Hicks rhicks at
Thu Jul 10 14:10:52 EDT 2008

Hi Patricia,

I made a "working model" to show scatter a while ago - I used a mix of clear
and frosted glass beads around 3mm in diameter.  These were sealed inside an
oil-filled pipette which I inverted to induce "flow".  I placed this
apparatus on a burette stand and held a laser pointer at 90 degrees using
another pipette stand.	In line with the laser I had a sheet of paper (the
pipette was much larger in diameter than would merit obscuration bars)	-
observers could see the slow pulse(s) of forward scatter and see for
themselves "side scatter" as the frosted beads passed.

I talked to Andy Riddell about making a more useful demo system with
electronic detectors and readout at the recent ISAC in BudaPest for
deployment in high schools or undergraduate labs - I'm not sure if he's run
with it with his usual enthusiasm, or is waiting for me to come up with some
plans - I'm not sure either if there are plans already out there, but I'd be
willing to collaborate on a project like this (and can donate some scrap
PMT's and PSU's from my private collection if needed by your friend - though
some photodiode system for FSC and maybe SSC would probably be safer for
young ones).

Howard Shapiro's books contain a host of build info for cytopups/cytomutts
and the basic circuit blocks of course, and may be a good starting point.



Ray Hicks
Cytek Development Inc
tel: +44 (0)208 1337 968 (UK/Europe)
fax: +44(0)208 5889 004
skype: ray.hicks.cytek 

-----Original Message-----
From: Patricia Lovelace [mailto:patricia.lovelace at] 
Sent: 09 July 2008 23:40
To: cyto-inbox
Subject: Simple flow cytometer construction

Hello flowers,

A friend who left the world of cytometry to become a
high school teacher is asking if there is a resource
he could look into to give ideas about constructing a 
simple working flow cytometer from readily available
items. He is looking into incorporating such a project
into his science lesson plans. Does anyone out there
have any ideas of where he could look for information?

Can it be done? 

Patty Lovelace
Manager, Flow Cytometry
Stanford University
Stem Cell Institute
1050A Arastradero Rd.
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1334

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