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Top Ten Reasons to Use Flow Cytometry for Preclinical Development

Posted on: October 18, 2016

10. Flow cytometry is more fun than running 500 ELISAs.

Admit it, ELISAs are a great tool for measuring antibody titers, but flow cytometry is the way to go when it comes to measuring cell-based parameters such as cytokines or receptor occupancy.

Top Ten Reasons to Use Flow Cytometry for Preclinical Development9. You’d rather not spend your weekend counting cells by looking through a microscope.

Counting cells can be a slow and tedious process, but using accurate cell counts is an essential part of most experimental protocols. Now cells can be counted accurately and quickly on a flow cytometer using bead-based cell counting protocols.

8. You want to narrow down your number of experimental candidates.

If you are testing experimental drugs or therapeutics in vitro or using animal models, flow cytometry is an excellent tool for determining mechanisms of action (such as ADCP, ADCC, CDC, apoptosis or trogocytosis) or measuring how different immune cell populations respond to the therapeutic itself.

7. You need to screen four dozen hybridoma clones!

Hybridoma clones are a valuable source of monoclonal antibodies, but the hybridoma screening process can be time-consuming and frustrating. Flow cytometry is a sensitive and rapid way to screen for antibody production by hybridoma clones.

6. You heard about a new cytokine at a conference, and you want to check it out in your preclinical experiments.

Multi-parametric flow cytometry is a flexible and customizable platform and is only constrained by the wavelengths that can be detected on your cytometer. New antibodies can be added to create an intracellular cytokine staining panel, so long as the fluorochrome conjugated to the antibody doesn’t overlap with the emission spectra of any other fluorochromes used in the panel.

5. You want to see what’s going on in the blood.

Techniques now exist that allow you to look at cells in whole blood without even having to separate white blood cells from other cell fractions. Whole blood assays are an excellent way to screen potential drug or biologic candidates, and can be used for toxicological and safety screening as well as determining therapeutic doses for experimental drugs.

4. You need a pure source of CD4+ T cells for your next experiment.

Cell sorting detects immune cells in a similar to flow cytometry, but it allows you to sort and collect pure populations of viable cells for downstream analysis such as functional analysis or gene expression profiling.

3. You are in the middle of a big preclinical vaccination study in animal models and you want a glimpse into what the immune responses look like.

Using flow cytometry, you can analyze small volumes of blood or cell suspensions and measure multiple cell populations in one experiment, like cytotoxic CD8+ T cells, memory T cells and regulatory T cells.

2. You need to do preclinical toxicology and safety screening.

You are getting ready to start a clinical trial and you can use validated flow cytometry assays for your toxicological and safety tests. You may discover that a target molecule you measure with a validated assay for one of your animal models does not cross-react sufficiently with the human counterpart, so you’ll need to redevelop a validated assay for your clinical samples.

1. Everyone else is using flow cytometry... why not me?

You read about flow cytometry in all the latest papers and hear about it at conferences. Flow cytometry gives you unparalleled insight into the immune system, which can be instrumental to advancing preclinical research. Consider incorporating flow cytometry into your next preclinical study.

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