10 Hints For Setting Up A Core Flow Cytometry Lab

An excerpt of an article originally published on BitesizeBio

Before You Start

1. Know Your Customer

It’s really important to know if you are going to be setting up and running a core just for one group or if this will be a larger core with multiple groups using it.  This will help you to establish the instruments needed and staffing levels.

2. Who’s the Boss?

It helps to find out right from the beginning who makes the decisions within the core, such as purchasing a new instrument for example.  Some cores operate so that the core manager makes decisions and others operate that the core manager advises others on purchases.

Purchasing Your Machine

Purchasing your cytometer can be a minefield but here are a couple of hints:

3. Future-proof Your Cytometer – but Be Realistic

Think about what experiments you are doing now.  If you are only doing 4 colors, then you maybe limiting yourself if you buy a 4-color cytometer.  You might be better to purchase a 7- or 8-color instrument, which means it will be ‘easy’ to add colors in the future.  Try to think 2–5 years in the future.  However, it might not be realistic to think more than 5 years ahead, as there can be huge advances in technology in 5 years. Another thing to know is that some instruments can be upgraded to add extra lasers and detectors, which can be cheaper than purchasing new cytometers.

4. Bargain Hard with Your Rep

Get to know your sales reps and bargain hard with them.  There is a range of instruments available for a range of money. It might be cost effective to rent a cytometer if you only need it for a short period of time.

5. Additions to your machines

You can get some additions to cytometers than can make your lab more time efficient; these include high-throughput systems, tube carousels, robotic handling and built-in bead separation.

 6. Support for Your Cytometer

You need to know what customer support is available from the cytometer manufacturer.  Will there be training and applications support? Another important thing to find out is, how many engineers they have, do they live close by and what is the call out time.  You should also find out the delivery and installation times.

if you want to read on go to the original article at BitesizeBio ..