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Understanding Flow Cytometry in a Simple Way!
Flow cytometry really offers a simple yet a very useful technique in different fields of science including biotechnology. To gather thorough knowledge about various bio-processes, several analytical tools and techniques have been adopted. The data acquired not only helped in understanding different bio - processes, but also assisted in optimizing them to further develop new strategies of monitoring. Flow cytometry presents the option for precise and in depth analysis of cell populations.
Flow cytometry is now a universal method for rapid analysis of large numbers of cells individually with the help of measuring the scattering of light absorbance and fluorescence. Here every single cell passes through a laser beam along a directed stream of fluid. The interaction of each cell with the laser beam (i.e. Absorption, fluorescence or scattering) is monitored and the data, thus generated is then correlated with different characteristics of cell components. So through Flow cytometry scattered data of a cell population can be gathered without difficulty. The effectiveness of this technique lies in the facts that it can analyze a wide range of cellular parameters and at the same time it has the capability to attain information on the distribution of these parameters in the cell population. It was first used in medical sciences during cancer and chromosomal anomaly diagnosis. But soon it became a vital tool in the field of microbiology, biotechnology, pharmacology, toxicology and monitoring several bio-processes.
The recent growth in both instrument designing and software development with modern data acquisition system make possible in producing a range of specific staining assays thus making this tool even more useful.
Flow cytometric assays have been prepared to determine a variety of cellular characteristics. These include intracellular pH, membrane potential, size, etc. At the same time it has the potential to estimate the levels of cellular components such as surface receptors, protein, DNA and calcium. No doubt these measurements that give a clear picture of the distribution of these parameters in cell populations, are of immense importance in biotechnology. This information enables us better understanding of the population than that can be achieved through any other conventional methods used previously. There are even a few imminent challenges and limitations of the method which are demanded to be addressed through extensive scientific research and technology development and should be the future outlook. Hope this mini review on Flow cytometry gives the readers some valuable insight on flow cytometry and an enjoyable read.
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RE: Understanding Flow Cytometry in a Simple Way! - by debram - 08-31-2014, 04:45 AM
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