The facility is open 24 hours to Sii users, with staff assistance available from 9.00am-5.00pm. New users will be authorised to work out of hours only after demonstrating competence on the machines. Before being assigned permission to book an instrument for analysis, all new users must read the facility safety rules, submit the relevant safety forms, and undergo basic training.
Please remember to plan ahead – if you require training, or help running an experiment please book time with the Facilities Manager before turning up to the Flow lab with your samples, as she may not be free.
New users may not operate the cell sorter. Assisted sorting is provided as a service to School of Infection & Immunity staff at no extra cost.
Please take the time to read our general sample preparation guidelines and list of what to bring along.
The booking system is online. If you have any problems registering for online booking, please contact the Facilities Manager for assistance. Follow the Booking link to see more information.
There is a Flow Core Facility users mailing list that provides updates about the status of our machines, and information about new flow reagents, discounts and promotions available, and flow seminars. Please email the Facilities Manager if you wish to opt in.
All new staff based in the SGDB should have completed the building Safety Induction Course before commencing work.
The Facility has about 150 users. Our goal is not to inhibit research but to enable users to conduct it in a safe manner.
All users of the Flow Cytometry Facility must read our local safety rules, and complete the appropriate biosafety form before undertaking work in the Facility.
One form is for users of the analysers (LSR II/ Celesta/Fortessa/CantoII), the second one is for users of the FACSAria cell sorters.
If you use both types of machine you must fill in both forms.If you are working with several cell types you must complete a form for each. In addition there is a separate form for the Luminex.
The forms are to be updated annually, or sooner if the nature of your work changes. If you need any help completing the form please contact the Facilities Manager.
FACS User Charges
We welcome enquiries from external users and availability will depend on current demand from internal users.
There are two billing option for internal users:
A Gold Bench Fee: For an additional FACS access charge of £500 for a year (August-July) the users is entitled to unlimited access to the Facility. There is an additional charge of £6/hr for consumables.
A Silver Bench Fee: FACS Access is not included. Users can pay as they go at the higher charge of £45/hr for FACS analysis and £75/hr for FLOW sorting. There is an additional charge of £6/hr for consumables.
Please add 1 hour for Instrument setup
Cancellation Charges: at the discretion of the manager.
There will be no charge for bookings cancelled > 24 hours notice.
Full charge for bookings cancelled <24 hours notice.
**Please note - Institute users will not normally be charged for staff assistance, however in the exceptional case where extended out of hours work is required charges may apply.
Please remember to update your budget code with Flow Staff if it changes during the year.
Protocols & sample preparation
Flow Cytometry is a powerful tool and can allow the analysis of large populations of cells within minutes – provided that good quality samples are run.
If you do not have a single cell suspension free from aggregates you will at best produce dubious results, and most likely completely block the machines. Click on the links to the view our general sample preparation guidelines & detailed staining protocols.
If you are new to FACS please look at Things to bring with you to the FACS Lab to ensure that when you arrive at the Facility you have everything you need to run your samples.
Data storage policy
Data Storage Policy
Facility users are fully responsible for their own data files.
We recommend that after sample acquisition you copy your files immediately and check that they have copied across properly.
All data should be backed up to the University OneDrive. There is a protocol available if you are unsure how to use this.
Flow Core staff will delete all files on a Monday morning. The Facility does not back up users data to a remote off site storage drive. In addition to storing your data in the building you are strongly advised to have an additional back up drive at home. Our machines receive routine maintenance on a monthly basis, including database backup.
In the event that you or a colleague are unable to back up your data due to exceptional circumstances please contact Flow Core staff
USB drives are not allowed to be used in Facility PCs.
Data Analysis Software
There are many programs available for analysis of flow cytometry data.
- FlowJo: available for both PC and for MAC. Capable of analysing the FCS data files from all our instruments. We have signed up for FlowJo portal (no need for a dongle as before). If you would like any more information regarding pricing/joining please contact the facility.
- Cytobank: Capable of analysing FCS files from all our instruments.
- FACSDiVa: PC compatible. Capable of analysing the FCS data files from all our instruments.
- FCS Express: Capable of analysing FCS data files from all of our instruments
This list is not exhaustive, for more information, please contact Facility Manager.
Publication of your Flow Data
Before submitting your flow data for publication please check out the mibbi portal (Minimum Information for Biological & Biomedical Investigations).
Here you can access MiFlowCyt (Minimum Information about a Flow Cytometry experiment) which defines a standard for outlining the minimum information required to report the experimental details of flow cytometry experiments.
Click on the links below to access pre prepared machine specific information for incorporation in your publications.
Additionally our machine configurations are available on the individual instruments page.
If any assistance is required with preparation of publications please contact the Facility Manager.
Acknowledgement of the Facility in Publications
In alignment with other Shared Rescource Facilities in the School of Infection & Immunity, the Flow Core Facility publication Policy is as follows.
Flow Core Facility Publication Policy
As an academic core facility, Flow Core Facility in common with other universities follows the internationally established guidelines in different universities and institutions, stipulated by journals and the publication houses. We have, therefore, implemented a new publication policy within the facility.
- All publications resulting from the use of instruments within the facility should acknowledge the Flow Core Facility as a whole, e.g. ‘the authors gratefully acknowledge the Flow Core Facility for their support & assistance in this work’
- Where users have had significant help from a particular member of Flow Core Facility staff or Flow Core Facility staff have generated additional data personally, this staff member should be acknowledged by name, alongside the facility if applicable, e.g. ‘the authors thank *** of Flow Core Facility for their support & assistance in this work’
- If scientists from Flow Core Facility contributed more than just routine techniques (e.g. Development or adaptation of protocols to suit samples or materials, (re)designing experiments, extensive data analysis and interpretation), it constitutes contributions meriting co-authorship in papers that use data.
We appreciate that authorship decisions are generally made at the preparation stage of a manuscript, rather than at the initiation of the work; Flow Core Facility expect to be informed of any potential publications resulting from the work. Flow Core Facility staff should have the opportunity to participate in drafting the pertinent part of the paper and give final approval to the wording and conclusions drawn before publication, as any other contributing scientist would.
If you are uncertain about co-authorship or have any questions or concerns about this, please discuss this issue with the facility manager in advance.
Please send a reprint of the paper, or an e-mail including the reference information for the publication, to the Flow Core Facility.
We also politely request that you remember to acknowledge use of the Flow Core Facility in your presentations and cite the facility in grants, as appropriate.
Useful Luminex Resources
Multiplex assay kits are supplied by numerous companies who are recognised partners of the Luminex Corporation.
Depending on the species and/or panel of analytes to be assayed you may have to shop around to find a suitable off the shelf kit. Alternatively custom order kits an be supplied with user specified analytes.
The Flow Cytometry Facility has blanket discount quotes from some suppliers – please speak to the manager for further information.
Useful Flow Resources
Flow Cytometry: First Principles, 2nd Edition. Alice L. Givan. Wiley (2002)
The Handbook – A Guide to Fluorescent Probes and Labeling Technologies, 10th Edition. Richard P. Haugland. Invitrogen Molecular Probes (2005)
AbD serotec – Introduction to Flow Cytometry
Flow Cytometry: A Practical Approach. M.G. Ormerod. Wiki Version
Practical Flow Cytometry, 4th Edition.Howard M. Shapiro. Wiley Liss (2003)
Cell Sorting (Derek Davies)
Mario Roederers Compensation Guide (May 24, 2000)
Cool Flow Tools
Companies supplying Cytometry Resources
The Sii Flow Core Facility machines and configurations are now on Fluorofinder.
If you go to www.fluorofinder.com and register, you can now view our machines and available configurations to help with panel design.
Find us (University of Glasgow, UG Flow Core Facility) on the drop down menu!