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Flow Cytometry Shared Resource


Overview of Services

Flow cytometry is a powerful tool that can measure functional and structural characteristics of heterogeneous mixtures of cells and particles in suspension. Flow cytometry also enables the sorting, or physical separation, of these cells into different classes based either on physical characteristics of the cells or on stains, or fluorochromes, which can be attached to individual cells. These fluorochromes are attached to the cells via antibodies, DNA, cytokines, specific proteins or other targets that differentiate the various cell subpopulations in terms of physiology, metabolism, morphology, or other characteristics. The ability to distinguish cell subpopulations is limited only by the ability to attach specific fluorochromes to the cells. Data regarding these subpopulations can then be aggregated, displayed and analyzed via histograms or two-dimensional plots.

The FCSR offers instrumentation, knowledge and skills necessary to sort, quantify and analyze cells and particles in fluid suspension through the use of flow cytometry.The FCSR also provides access to expertise in the interpretation of results, as well as consultation regarding project specific applications and methodologies. FCSR also sponsors UA workshops and seminars which provide information regarding new techniques, cutting-edge instrumentation, and developing applications of flow cytometry.

The cell-sorting application of flow cytometry can physically separate cell populations into different collection tubes. Using this application, the FCSR gives researchers the capability to analyze, isolate, and then collect cells by differences in physiology, metabolism, morphology, and other characteristics as distinguished by specific fluorescent markers.

Instrumentation in the FCSR includes a five-laser BD FACSAria III cell sorter, a five-laser BD LSR II analyzer, and a two-laser BD FACSCanto II analyzer. The FCSR provides consulting services to help investigators plan new projects. Individualized training, to enable user only operation, is available for the FACSCanto II and LSR II analyzer. The LSR II analyzer is located in a satellite facility in the Medical Research Building and is available to users on a 24/7 basis. All other services are available during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., M-F) or upon special request. An online scheduler is available to reserve services.


Capabilities and Applications


The techniques of flow cytometry and cell sorting can be applied to many disciplines. Methods have been developed to measure the natural fluorescence of phytoplankton, determine the sex of birds, study the characteristics of sperm, and determine the quality of a metropolitan water supply. Traditional uses of flow cytometry include applications in immunology, hematology, oncology, parasitology, and genetics.

Following is a list of some of the measurable parameters of cells and particles using flow cytometry:

  • Relative cell size/shape
  • Cytoplasmic granularity
  • Cell surface and cytoplasmic antigens
  • Membrane integrity (viability)
  • DNA content
  • Apoptosis
  • DNA synthesis and cell cycle
  • Membrane permeability
  • Membrane potential (dye/drug uptake)
  • Membrane-bound/cytoplasmic calcium 


Sara Centuori, PhD Mark Curry
Sara Centuori, PhD
Shared Resourse Director
Research Asst. Professor, Medicine
Phone: (520) 626-3249
Mark Curry
Shared Resourse Manager
Phone: (520) 621-2047

Hours of Operation and Location

Hours Location

Monday - Friday
9:00am - 5:00pm                

Arizona Cancer Center
1515 N. Campbell Ave. #0935
Tucson, AZ 85724

Links and Resources

  1. See us on the Arizona Research Labs Website
  2. See us on the AZ Cancer Center Website
  3. The Flow Cytometry Shared Resource Equipment Kiosk.


Name Role Phone Email Location
Flow Cytometry Shared Resource
General Facility Contact
Leon Levy Cancer Center Room 0935
Core Facility Business Office
Billing Inquiries
Keating Room 200

Available Equipment and Resources

Name Price
IDEAS Workstation for Imagestream Data Analysis  
Data Analysis Computer (Dell Optiplex 3010)  
ImageStream Mk II