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Flow Cytometry Blog

Are Your Cells Feeling Ill? - Using Flow Cytometry to Measure Oxidative Stress

Posted on: September 19, 2018

Measuring oxidative stress has become an essential element in defining features of the immune response, and understanding how cells respond to infection, chronic disease and cancer. Quantifying oxidative stress is also critical to understanding how experimental treatments affect cells, and this information is critical to determining the risks and benefits of a potential new therapy. Oxidative stress can also serve a functional purpose. Phagocytic cells like neutrophils undergo a “respiratory burst” and produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) in order to destroy intracellular pathogens.

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Why Stimulate Cells for Flow Cytometry?

Posted on: September 12, 2018

Many flow cytometry users are happy to start an experiment with a general protocol and a question about their specimen -- Will my cells make more cytokines or express more markers after activation? Will my cells respond to a novel immunotherapeutic drug candidate?

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The “Black Box” of Assay Validation and Regulatory Issues for Flow Cytometry

Posted on: September 05, 2018

Flow cytometry is an elegant and powerful tool that has been critical to understanding the immune system and advancing the development of immune-based therapies. Critical to many studies, and essential for FDA filings, is the development and documentation of a validated assay. While most flow cytometric assays fall into the “quasi-quantitative” category according to FDA guidelines, there are some assays that can be quantitative and even qualitative.

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Advancing Monoclonal Antibody Selection

Posted on: August 29, 2018

Monoclonal antibodies are the workhorse molecules of the immunotherapy field. These antibodies have been engineered to bind to immune system components and redirect immune responses to kill tumor cells, dial down autoimmune responses, or enhance the effects of other treatments. Much of the work behind production of monoclonal antibodies is rooted in the production of hybridomas, which involves identifying antigen-specific plasma/plasmablast cells (ASPCs) that produce antibodies specific to an antigen of interest and fusing these cells with myeloma cells. These fused hybridoma cell lines can be grown in large-scale culture and produce a single type of (monoclonal) antibody indefinitely under the correct conditions. The ASPC selection process can be time consuming and unpredictable, but recent advances in monoclonal antibody screening that use flow cytometry are making this process faster and more efficient.

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Sorting Out Your FACS Needs - Considerations for Downstream Analysis by Gene Expression

Posted on: August 22, 2018

Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) is a powerful technique for obtaining a relatively pure cell population for downstream applications. This technique uses fluorescently labeled antibodies to stain cells that express specific markers, and these stained cells can be sorted into separate subsets using a cell sorter and can even be separated into individual cells. FACS is especially useful for gene expression analysis of individual cells or pure cell populations.

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