The Flow Cytometry Facility is a resource for numerous investigators.

To help us maintain the flow cytometry laboratory functionality and performance at its best, we ask that you read and follow our guidelines and be considerate of other users.

As with all laboratories eating, drinking, smoking and application of make-up is not allowed in the flow cytometry laboratory.

If you have questions or requests, please email Susanne.Heck@gstt.nhs.uk, Head of BRC Flow Core.

General rules and guidance for self-service instruments

  • Before first use of any core laboratory services users must register with iLabs (PDF 235Kb), our online booking and invoice system, and send a completed BRC Flow Core registration form(Word 36Kb) form to BRCFlowCore@gstt.nhs.uk
  • Attend all relevant training
  • No samples above a Biosafety level of 2 (BSL2) can be processed or sorted in the BRC Flow Core laboratory. Users that wish to run samples containing any agents above BSL2 must fix the samples to inactivate the agent and contact the Head of BRC Flow Core (Susanne.Heck@gstt.nhs.uk) before the first run of any such sample material. Failure to do so will result in immediate termination of all access rights
  • All samples must be brought to the laboratory in a secondary containment with securely fitted lid
  • Due to limited capacity the flow cytometry laboratory can not refrigerate/freeze user samples for longer than the stay in the laboratory
  • Self service instruments are available 24/7 to internal users except during maintenance and repair periods. Out of hours and weekend work requires users to adhere to the Trust lone worker policy (PDF 88Kb) and to have their own authorized Trust ID card. Users found to gain access on colleagues ID cards will have their access rights suspended until this situation is corrected and their PI will be notified
  • Data acquisition on the BRC analysers is done by researchers and considered as self-service on CANTO, Fortessa, Luminex and ImageStream platforms. All experiments are performed by trained researchers themselves unless flow cytometry laboratory personnel assistance is requested. This service must be booked in advance by emailing the team and incurs additional charges.
  • To book time on the cell analysers, please use the online iLabs booking system for the corresponding instrument
  • The experiments are scheduled on a first-booked-first-served basis
  • You may schedule in 15 minute increments and generally should not book more than 4 hours at a time during prime usage time (weekdays: 12 noon to 8pm). Our NIHR Biomedical Research Centre members will have priority access to the instrumentation. No single user can book more than 8 hours of prime time usage per week. Please discuss exceptional booking needs exceeding this limit in advance with the BRC Flow Core team: BRCFlowCore@gstt.nhs.uk
  • Users who do not arrive within 30 minutes of their start time forfeit the booking. Anyone may use the cytometers after this 30-minute grace period and may not be asked to leave
  • Users who book a timeslot they are unable to use must delete their booking from the calendar no later than 2 hours before the appointment. After this deadline, the scheduled time will be billed in full even if the researcher does not use the instrument
  • The flow cytometry laboratory staff reserve the right to review the time scheduled for an experiment with the user to avoid unnecessary blocking of the instruments
  • During acquisition, the data files can be on the computer attached to the instrument. After completion of the experiment, all the files should be moved out immediately to the FACS data transfer server. Do not record directly onto alternative storage media, you will lose data
  • Flow cytometry laboratory staff are not responsible for data files left on facility computers nor for longterm storage of user data. Files left on the hard disk will be removed during regular monthly database maintenance without further notification
  • Flow Cytometry staff is not responsible for the security of user data on the FACS data transfer drive, which is not setup as longterm storage device. Users must download and safely store their data onto devices within their own research groups.
  • The use of USB sticks and external hard drives for data transfer as well as using internet browsers on the instrument workstations is not allowed to reduce the risk of virus infections. Users must use the network server for data transfer as instructed during training
  • Access to the ARIA1 sorter for self service is restricted to advanced users that have a certificate of participation in an official ARIA operator training course (please contact BD Biosciences for up to date information). Self-service access is limited to weekend and after hour work (after 5 pm Monday to Friday unless a facility run sort goes beyond 5pm in which case the service sort takes priority) while ARIA1 is a facility only operated instrument during regular business hours Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Self- service operators are responsible for start up, run and shutdown of the instrument and must clean up in accordance with facility rules. Before first time usage self-operators must make an appointment with the facility staff to obtain a local induction (email brcflowcore@gstt.nhs.uk). Repeated failure to safely operate the instrument or adhere to facility policies will result in a review/revoking of the access rights. Booking for self service slots is done by facility staff only, please submit the online sort booking form
  • Users are responsible to pay the fees for all services as agreed upon signup. If payment is outstanding for more than 45 days, the user account will be suspended until payment is received in full