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A description of fluorescence activated cell sorting of live cell populations.
Fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) of live cells separates a population of cells into sub-populations based on fluorescent labeling. Sorting involves more complex mechanisms in the flow cytometer than a non-sorting analysis. Cells stained using fluorophore-conjugated antibodies can be separated from one another depending on which fluorophore they have been stained with. For example, a cell expressing one cell marker may be detected using an FITC-conjugated antibody that recognizes the marker, and another cell type expressing a different marker could be detected using a PE-conjugated antibody specific for that marker. This is the basic task of flow cytometry.
Live cell sorting goes one step further:
The cells need to remain viable and without contamination for subsequent culture. See the tips below.