Flow cytometry is a laser-based method for multi-parametric analysis of single cells in solution based on fluorescent and light scattering characteristics. The flow cytometer analyzes different properties of individual cells as they pass through the instrument’s multiple laser beams. Flow cytometry can be used for protein expression quantification, and combining several protein patterns, identification of cells with multiple phenotypic characteristics (e.g., immunophenotyping) from a mixture. Flow cytometry even allows the isolation of single cells with desired phenotypic characteristics by a process called cell sorting. Other cell-based applications of flow cytometry include analyzing cell metabolism, cell-health, cell viability, small molecules, nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), proteins, or chromosomes.

MarinBio clients request flow cytometry for a variety of projects including:

  • Cell phenotyping, cell differentiation, T-lymphocyte subset analyses
  • Ligand-binding, -inhibition and -specificity of binding
  • Cell-activation, -growth inhibition, -proliferation, MLR (Mixed Lymphocyte Reaction), -apoptosis, -gene expression and protein expression
  • Drug-induced-signaling pathways, -cytokine production
  • Multiplex quantitation of different analytes in a single sample

Flow cytometry analysis of lung leukocyte population:

Digested lung samples are analyzed using two parallel antibody panels to study Myeloid and Lymphoid cell populations. Top panel: Myeloid cells where selected by Forward and Side Scatter properties and live single cells where further phenotyped using cell-specific antibodies to obtain Neutrophil, Macrophage, Monocyte and Alveolar Macrophage counts. Bottom panel: Lymphoid cells where selected by Forward and Side Scatter properties and live single cells where further phenotyped using cell-specific antibodies to obtain T-cell (CD4 or CD8 positive), B-cell and NK-cell (Natural Killer) counts.

“Parts of the figure were drawn by using pictures from Servier Medical Art. Servier Medical Art by Servier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).”


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For MarinBio clients, common flow cytometry readouts are cell proliferation, cell apoptosis, cell cycle, intracellular or cell surface markers, cytokine production and cell binding assays. Fresh or frozen cell samples are provided, and analyses performed with live or fixed cells, depending on the type of assay required.

Examples of multi-color flow analyses performed at MarinBio are as follows:

  • Cell type identification and quantification in Myeloid or Lymphoid populations
  • Protein post-translational modifications, including cleaved and phosphorylated proteins to study intracellular signaling pathways
  • Cell cycle analyses, providing a powerful tool to assess cells in G0/G1 phase versus S phase, G2 phase or polyploidy and including analyses of cell proliferation and cell activation
  • Cell health and metabolic status, ranging from cell viability to late stage programmed cell death
  • Intracellular RNA


MarinBio professionals are your scientists. We transmit results of each experiment in real time with all methods, materials, raw and analyzed data for your review, analyses and planning for subsequent experiments. MarinBio provides all raw flow cytometry files, parallel microscopic or other data and analyses, as requested.

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