Flow Cytometry

We are pleased to offer several layers of support for users of flow cytometry:

  • A core facility for standard research applications that provides access to an LSRII, a FACSCanto and an Aria III capable of sorting at BSL2.  The analytical equipment in the core facility is available for rental.  Please sign up using this calendar.  All cell sorting must be carried out by our experienced technician, Hong Liang.  Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. directly to discuss your sorting needs

  • A GLP-like lab that is designed for processing human samples for immune monitoring of clinical trials.  Research in a GLP-like lab can only be conducted by qualified research personnel.  Please contact Jonathan Bramson to discuss your research needs.

  • BSL3 facility equipped with a cell sorter (in construction, available in early 2013)


We are happy to waive the charges for first-time users of our full service option.  Just bring us your samples and we will process them, analyze the data and provide you with the results.  Contact Jonathan Bramson for further information.



Details of the facility

The Flow Cytometry Facility in MIRC provides a centralized service in flow cytometry to investigators at McMaster and is available to customers from outside the University.  Flow cytometry is a highly technical specialized resource employed by both immunologists and cell biologists that require expensive instrumentation.  Our core facility seeks to facilitate access to this powerful technology by offering our equipment on a fee-per-use basis;  we also offer an experienced technologist who can process specimens and run the analytical equipment for inexperienced users.

Four flow cytometers are available: 1 BD FACSCanto, 2 BD LSRIIs, and 1 BD Aria III. The facility is managed by a specialized operator to run and maintain the equipment. The facility is separated into 2 units. The first unit is available for research projects and contains 2 instruments that are used purely for sample analysis (FACSCanto, LSRII).  And 1 unit that allows for isolation of specific cell populations in a sterile, biological safety level 2 environment (Aria III). The second unit (known as The Human Immune Testing Suite (HITs)) is highly-specialized,  research laboratory that is working towards implementing a GLP-quality system. HITS was designed for immunological analysis of materials obtained from human clinical trials with only 2 such facilities existing in Canada. At the core of HITS is a dedicated 4-laser LSRII flow cytometer equipped with a high-throughput sample loader and a Biomek NX robotic liquid handler, which performs all of the staining operations. Through the implementation of standardized methodology and robotic technology, HITs ensures maximum reproducibility by minimizing potential user error.

Go To Top