Optical Technology for Flow Cytometry and Cell

Optical Technology for Flow Cytometry and Cell
Optical Technology for Flow Cytometry
and Cell Sorting
Broad product portfolio of reliable, high quality solutions for your most
challenging Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting applications
Flow Cytometry or Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) as a technique was developed in the 1960s and
allowed sorting and collection of viable cells from a heterogeneous mixture. The first FACS systems used a mercury
arc light source and could measure just one parameter, fluorescence intensity. Data archival was primitive by today’s
standards and instruments could process 75-100,000 cells per minute. With the advent of computing, data storage
and analysis technologies along with significant developments in lasers
and optical technologies in the decades that ensued, flow cytometers have
become the mainstay of the modern day clinical laboratory. Cytometry has
Solving key challenges
found applications in fields as diverse as molecular biology and immunology
in Flow Cytometry and to marine science.
These instruments can now process millions of cells per minute. There are
three main systems within the Flow Cytometry instrument. A fluidics system
transports sample particles in the fluid stream to the light source. The optical
system is the heart of the instrument and consists of lasers that illuminate
the particles present in the fluid stream as they pass through and scatter
laser light. Fluorescent molecules on the particles emit light that is detected
by carefully positioned lenses. Optical filters and beam splitters direct
light signals to relevant detectors. Data is collected on each particle and
characteristics of those particles are determined based on their fluorescent
and light scattering properties. Finally, an electronics system changes the
detected light signals into pulses that a computer can process.
Cell Sorting
• Spectra-Physics® Lasers
• Filters & Mirrors
• Integrated Optical Subassemblies
• Motion Control Systems
• Vibration Isolation Systems
The choice of lasers and optical components is extremely critical to the integrity of the flow cytometer. A poor quality
or malfunctioning laser can compromise data integrity, leading to bad clinical decisions that could directly affect
disease diagnosis. Low performance optical components may cause a reduction in signal-to-noise ratio leading to
untrustworthy results. Properly designed optical systems will minimize these risks and keep the instruments running
reliably for a long time.
New Challenges in Flow Cytometry
The flow cytometers of today
must meet the data accuracy, high
throughput and low serviceability
requirements of customers, especially
in the clinical laboratory. Some of
the high end models have as many
as six lasers and highly complex
optical systems that must be properly
aligned, calibrated and managed,
especially during instrument operation. The various systems
and electromechanical assemblies within the instrument must
work perfectly together in order to address some of the most
pressing challenges in Flow Cytometry:
Miniaturization of flow cytometers due to increase in demand for POC analysis
Higher resolution and sensitivity
Expanded application space to areas such as stem cell research
Zero tolerance for erroneous readings, component malfunction and downtime
In addition, the growing research activity in life sciences is
driving the need for flow cytometers in advanced technologies
such as drug discovery. Rising prevalence of diseases such
as HIV and cancer in Asia is driving the need for these
instruments to become mainstream causing cost pressures on
manufacturers. As the adoption of flow cytometers continues
to grow, there is a strong focus on ease of use and intuitive
data generation and interpretation.
Optical Technology for Flow Cytometry
and Cell Sorting
MKS Solutions
The quality of lasers used
in flow cytometers can
directly affect instrument
performance and product
life. Superior quality lasers
improve instrument resolution
and sensitivity as well as
reduce the overall cost of
ownership. Laser quality can
provide peace of mind that
the data being generated is
accurate and reliable. This is critical in scenarios such as
cancer diagnosis. MKS Laser Solutions offer the broadest
portfolio of state-of-the-art ultrafast, CW and pulsed UV
lasers. With the world’s largest installed base, MKS lasers
offer exceptional stability and reliability. Available in a range
of sizes, MKS has the most compact pulsed UV laser, and
the most advanced ultrafast lasers used in challenging bio-imaging, medical and pharmaceutical applications.
Proper sample positioning as it passes in front of the
laser minimizes the risk
of erroneous or missed
readings. MKS Motion
Control Solutions include a
wide variety of standard and
custom motion products.
MKS Piezo precision motion
products provide superior
stability and accurate motion
for distances as little as 30 nm. In addition, our extensive
global installed base and broad range of customization
capabilities for linear and rotation stages ensure that
we have the right product for even the most demanding
customer needs.
The optical subassembly
in the flow cytometer that
includes the light source,
optics, filters, mirrors, mounts
etc. is one of the most critical
parts of the instrument.
Depending on instrument
complexity and customer
requirements, a completely
holistic optical system design
is often required. This includes
challenges such as mounting all the components in a small
area, proper alignment, calibration and managing the light
sources to avoid any unwanted beam path deviations. MKS
Integrated Solutions Business provides expert design
and consulting services for the most complex of designs.
With over 50 years of optics
design and applications
experience in diverse markets
and geographies, MKS offers
customers unique capabilities
that result in world-class
system design. The solid
foundation of our global
footprint includes presence in
over 30 countries, including
manufacturing capabilities in
Asia and Central America.
MKS is a leading global provider of optics and vacuum technology products for analytical instrumentation manufacturing, medical
equipment manufacturing, research laboratories, semiconductor, and other advanced manufacturing applications. We are committed to helping
our customers solve their most complex problems. For further information visit us on the web at www.mksinst.com or call us at 978-645-5500.
AI: FlowCyto - 6/17
© 2017 MKS Instruments, Inc.
All rights reserved.
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