FACS--what is it?

John Brandes jbrandes at ix.netcom.com
Wed Oct 4 13:03:37 EST 1995

In <44sla9$ma6 at sifon.cc.mcgill.ca> apathy at cs.mcgill.ca (Julian SO)
>rather silly question, but here goes. i was reading an article on b
>cell subpopulations ('conventional b cells', b-1a cells, b-1b cells),
>and there was extensive mention on the use of FACS as a means of
>distinguising and/or segregating lymphocyte types and subtypes. can
>someone email me an answer as to what FACS is? i have a feeling that
>it's some sort of fluorescent assay, but that's all i have to go on.
>thnx in advance
>	Ask me about Aggressive Gerbil fanzine and Radio KGLS monthly.
>     	     Julian So, 3787 Clark, Montreal, PQ, Canada, H2W 1W4.
>  Finger me for more info on AggroDiscoDistro, or write
bkkh at music.mcgill.ca
>	Or see us on the web at http://www.cs.mcgill.ca/~apathy/ag.html

FACS refers to a proceedure known as "Fluorescence Activated Cell
Sorting".  In the paper you read, it is likely that these cells were
stained with different fluorescent monoclonal antibodies.  This stained
cell suspension can be run through "FACS" to separate cells based on
their fluorochrome markers.  It is a fairly intricate instrument
involving lasers, signal processing/pulse height analysis, fluid
dynamics, etc.  If you would like a further description feel free to
e-mail me

John Brandes			           	M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Phone: (713) 792-7640		 	Experimental Hematology
Fax:	(713) 745-0887			1515 Holcombe Blvd.
e-mail:jbrandes at ix.netcom.com	       Box 081
			         		Houston, TX, USA 77054

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