What is flow cytometry mainly used for?

What is Flow Cytometry Mainly Used For?

Flow cytometry is a powerful analytical tool used in research and clinical laboratories for a variety of applications. It allows for the rapid analysis of physical and chemical characteristics of cells or particles as they flow in a fluid stream through a beam of light. The main uses of flow cytometry include:

Cell Counting

  • Accurate and rapid counting of cells in a sample, useful in both research and clinical diagnostics.

Cell Sorting

  • Separating cells based on their characteristics into different populations, which can then be collected for further analysis or use.

Cell Characterization

  • Determining the expression of cell surface and intracellular molecules, allowing for the identification and classification of cell types within a heterogeneous population.

DNA Analysis

  • Measuring DNA content for cell cycle analysis, ploidy determination, and identification of aneuploidies.


  • Identifying and quantifying the types of immune cells present in a sample, important for diagnosing and monitoring immune disorders.

Functional Studies

  • Assessing cellular functions such as calcium flux, pH changes, and enzyme activity.

Apoptosis and Cell Viability

  • Evaluating programmed cell death and the proportion of living, dead, and dying cells within a sample.

Table: Key Applications of Flow Cytometry

Application Description
Cell Counting Rapid and accurate counting of cells.
Cell Sorting Separation and collection of cells based on characteristics.
Cell Characterization Identification and classification of cell types.
DNA Analysis Cell cycle analysis and identification of aneuploidies.
Immunophenotyping Diagnosis and monitoring of immune disorders.
Functional Studies Assessment of cellular functions.
Apoptosis and Cell Viability Evaluation of cell death and viability.
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