[Cytometry] When to replace a flow cytometer

Cris Bare flowmail at verizon.net
Thu Apr 11 04:34:00 EDT 2013

Hi, Liz!

My opinion (and purely that):

A well maintained cytometer will give you valid data for a very long time. I've worked with (not in) clinical labs using twenty year old caliburs robustly every day. The cytometer itself will likely never be completely obsolete (although some parts may become excruciatingly difficult to replace). In fact, cytometers adhere to the adage of regular usage keeps them happy.

The computer is another story. I find the workstations get "tired" after three or four years. That should be kept fresh.

So I wouldn't replace the cytometer until repair was impossible, but I'd replace the computer regularly.



Apr 10, 2013 10:32:42 AM, ecglaser at yahoo.com wrote:


We are a 3-year-old clinical flow lab and the hospital is reviewing it's 5-year plan for capital equipment. I would like to know what criteria other facilities use to determine a replacement schedule for their flow cytometers. How often should a clinical lab replace its flow cytometer? Our work is low volume - about one sample per day - and there is one principle user and two alternate users. We have one FACSCantoII. It seems to me that replacing it in 10 years would be too soon, given its use, but at what point does its reliability turn iffy and when does it become outdated equipment? Would upgrading the computer at 7 years and the cytometer and computer at 15 be a reasonable plan?
Any thoughts appreciated.
Elizabeth Glaser, MT(ASCP)QCYM
Flow Cytometry/ Molecular Technologist
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin


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