Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

NOV1 2018

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN) is the world's most widely read biotech publication. It provides the R&D community with critical information on the tools, technologies, and trends that drive the biotech industry.

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14 | NOVEMBER 1, 2018 | Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News | OMICS Roundup See Roundup on page 15 Flow Cytometry Breaks with Tradition GEN: Flow cytometry continues to evolve from its origins as a research tool. Outside the laboratory, where is flow cytometry making significant contributions? Where is it going? Dr. Guenther: Clinical uses of flow cytometry, which have exploded in recent decades, include validat- ing hematopoietic stem cells pretransplanta- tion and identifying irregularities in im- mune cell subsets that are present in cancer and immu- nodeficiency dis- orders. As instru- ments have become smaller and easier to maneuver, flow cytometers have also come to be used for near-patient disease diagnosis. Additionally, scientists are adapting in- struments for nontraditional flow cytometry applications, from biomanufacturing and bioprocessing monitoring (including water quality testing and agricultural and food safety certification) to veterinary medicine, oceanography, and ecological field research. Given their high-throughput capacity for de- tecting and quantifying analytes in solution, and given their multiplexing potential, flow cytometry systems w i l l b e q u i c k l y adapted to diverse research and indus- trial sectors. Ms. Wright: Flow cytometry is an incredibly pow- erful tool for single- cell analysis because it lets labs quickly inter- rogate millions of cells. In recent years, the number of parameters—the "multiplexing" capacity of the technology—has increased dramatically. We can now analyze dozens of "markers," both proteins and nucleic acids, with single-cell resolution and simultaneous- ly derive valuable population statistics. Looking forward, we see an increasing need to democratize flow cytometry. Today, it's still considered a highly complex technique requiring an expert operator and a time-con- suming experimen- tal design process. As flow cytometry is increasingly used in new applications, particularly nontra- ditional immunol- ogy workflows, the For such a familiar technique, flow cytometry holds many surprises. It's more compact, more maneuverable, and more available than ever. Consequently, flow cytometry is interjecting itself where it was once unknown or where it is still considered "nontraditional." For example, flow cytometry is getting closer to clinicians, environmental field workers, and food safety inspectors. Flow cytometry is also finding new uses in familiar settings, such as the research laboratory and the biopharmaceutical production line. Long capable of running phenotypic screens, flow cytometry is starting to apply its powers of discrimination to genetically modified cells. Flow cytometry is validating transfection, confirming whether desirable edits have been achieved, measuring the functional effects of gene editing, and enriching cell populations based on functional cell sorting. Compatible with autosampling and high-throughput technology, sensitive to a rainbow of colors, capable of processing multiple inputs in parallel, and reconcilable with activities upstream and downstream (including PCR analysis and genome sequencing), flow cytometry is helping advance single-cell analysis. While the combination of flow cytometry and single-cell technology is still new, it is already defining new developmental states, identifying unculturable microbes, and revealing how cellular heterogeneity relates to health and disease. These and other nontraditional applications are highlighted in this article, which reflects the views of three experts from leading providers of flow cytometry technology. Our experts emphasize what may be the most curious thing about flow cytometry: Although it forces cells to pass in single file, it also allows cell biology to spread out in many directions. Garret Guenther, Ph.D. Global Support Manager, Flow Cytometry, ACEA Biosciences Dara Grantham Wright Vice President and General Manager, Antibodies, Immunoassays, and Protein and Cell Analysis, Thermo Fisher Scientific Yasha Talaga Global Applications and Collaborations Manager, Cell Biology, Bio-Rad Laboratories

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