Make Your Decision With These 5 Questions
You have just gotten approval to start a big phase 1 clinical trial and 172 precious blood samples are about to come through your door in about two months. What do you do? Do you clone yourself and your outstanding flow cytometry skills? Do you consider skipping sleep for a few weeks? Do you panic? Perhaps, you should consider outsourcing your flow cytometry analysis ...
Walk through the who, what, where, when, and why of outsourcing flow cytometry and make the best decision for your next flow cytometry-based project.
More like, how many highly trained scientists and technicians do you have to run flow cytometry experiments. Many flow cytometry-based clinical assays require you to run a large number of samples in a brief period of time. During these crunch times, you may be limited in the number of trained staff members you can rely upon to meet these needs. In contrast, flow cytometry contract research organizations (CROs) are equipped to meet the staffing and scheduling demands of these intense periods.
What kind of samples do you have and how many do you need to run at once in your flow cytometry experiment? Do you need to develop a new assay and don't know where to start? You probably don’t need to outsource your small pilot experiments during which you optimize your staining panel or pinpoint interesting cell populations. But if you are faced with developing a new assay or running a large number of samples, a flow cytometry CRO could be a good option.
Where are your samples from, and how long can they last if you ship them? If you have highly perishable samples, you may need to process and stain them in house. Or, you could consider finding a nearby flow cytometry CRO equipped to handle your samples in a timely manner.
Do you have a few critical time points in your experiment that produce a large number of samples each time, or are you collecting samples at frequent time intervals? Outsourcing flow cytometry is worth considering if you have an experiment that produces samples at regular time intervals. A flow cytometry CRO could keep you on schedule and flush with critical data throughout a long-term experiment or clinical trial.
Why outsource flow cytometry? It comes down to the value of your time and your need to get flow cytometry data in an efficient, reliable, and timely manner. Take time to research your flow cytometry CRO options before you are overwhelmed with thousands of samples. It could just save you years of labor and thousands of dollars in experimental expenses.