The FICSR houses three cell sorter instruments in a BSL2+ facility. Two of these are available for operator-assisted sorting, each with a slightly different configuration, but otherwise similar capabilities. The BD Aria I upgraded in 2010, is equipped with 12 fluorescent PMTs and 405, 488, 561, and 640 nm lasers, and has bio-containment capabilities. The Aria II is equipped with four lasers (355 nm, 405 nm, 488 nm, and 633 nm) and has 13 fluorescent detectors. Both instruments have the capacity to perform four-way sorts, as well as sorts into plates and onto slides.
The Aria instruments are maintained and operated by dedicated facility staff members and are available during regular business hours by reservation. In a typical workflow, researchers will bring their stained single-cell suspensions to FICSR along with controls, buffers, and collection tubes. Then, together with the operator, the experiment is set up and sort logic is defined. After setup, researchers will not need to be present for the remainder of the sort duration. There are training options for individuals who would like to run these sorters unassisted.
A third, more user-friendly flow cytometry sorter, the SONY MA900, is available for unassisted use 24/7 following training by our staff. This instrument is equipped with 12 fluorescent PMTs and 405, 488, 561, and 638 nm lasers, and is placed in a biosafety cabinet. The instrument has the capacity to do four-way tube sorts as well as sorts into plates.
The sorter schedules can be found on our FOM calendar, and an active FOM account is required for access to the sorters. Reservations for the Aria sorters can only be scheduled by the FICSR sorter operators. For sorts that have not been performed previously, please submit the online Sort Information Form to request time. The operators will contact you to confirm your appointment and to discuss further specifics. Investigators new to sorting or embarking on a new project are encouraged to discuss their goals with FICSR staff prior to scheduling time.
If you are requesting a repeat of a sort that has been done before in our facility, a short Sort Appointment Request form can be submitted. The FICSR staff will contact you to finalize the appointment details. Appointments are not guaranteed until confirmed and entered in FOM. Reservations for the SONY sorter can be placed on FOM and do not require a form.
Detailed information pertaining to our operation routine, reservations, cancellation policies, sample requirements, and collection options can be found in our document “Guidelines to Sorting”.
In addition to flow sorting capabilities, our facility also hosts a Miltenyi Classic AutoMACS for automated magnetic cell sorting. Reservations for this instrument are available to all trained researchers through FOM.