CyTOF Mass Cytometer

Location: Thomas Building, DE-690
Contact phone: (206) 667-6195
Contact fax: (206) 667-1183
Contact e-mail: flowcytometry@fhcrc.org

The CyTOF is now available for use in Flow Cytometry!

The DVS CyTOF “mass cytometry” instrument is capable of up to ten times the data output of a traditional flow cytometer.

Conventional flow cytometry uses fluorescent labels in which each different molecule or protein of interest gets a different labeled antibody per experiment. When too many fluorescent labels are used, the wavelengths of the light emitted from the labels can overlap and cause a loss of resolution. Flow cytometry experiments can traditionally detect only 10-15 molecules at once.

Unlike traditional flow cytometers, the CyTOF detects several different metal tagged molecules within a group of cells. The molecules are then detected by the mass differences of the metal tags in a process similar to mass spectrometry. 

Currently 33 different tags are commercially available, but the instrument has sensitivity capable of detecting up to 100 markers with little to no interference.  Mass cytometry experiments will be similar in price per antibody to traditional flow cytometry experiments.