Staff: David Connor, John Zaunders

Hardware: BD LSRFortessa X-20: 4 Laser, 16 Colour Configuration

Flow Cytometry, measuring subsets of T lymphocytes in blood, especially CD4 T cell counting, has been part of our core business since 1983.

In that time, available equipment and techniques have improved dramatically, and AMR remains at the forefront of studying human CD4 and CD8 T cells in Australia, using the LSR II to study the complex heterogeneity of human T lymphocytes. The FACSAria is located in the PC3 laboratory and is used for sorting biohazardous material, including HIV- or HCV-infected cells, or to contain genetically modified cells during cell sorting.

Flow cytometry has grown from a specialised technique in immunology to be an essential part of the diagnosis and monitoring of immunological and hematological diseases, and in oncology. The AMR facility is heavily involved in R&D for diagnostic flow cytometry, as well as for other clinical applications, such as monitoring responses to vaccines and developing methods to measure immune responses to infectious agents.

Flow cytometry is an also an essential tool for basic cellular research, particularly in cell sorting for downstream functional assays or nucleic acid analysis, such as microarrays. Flow cytometry is also increasingly necessary in experiments where fluorescent markers are used to identify cells which have been transduced with functional genetic material. Widely used flow cytometry assays also include cell cycle analysis and cell death assays.

The AMR Flow Cytometry Facility has very close links with immunology researchers at the Garvan Institute on the St Vincent’s campus, and with the new flow cytometry facility and researchers at UNSW on the Kensington campus.