At EMD Millipore, GEN spoke with both Bob Smith-McCollum, director of marketing for open cell analysis systems, including the Amnis® FlowSight® and ImageStreamX Mark II Imaging Flow Cytometers and the Guava EasyCyte™ Flow Cytometry System, and with Jason Whalley, director of marketing for cellular analysis. Smith-McCollum noted two important trends.
One was the provision of actual images of the cells as they move through the flow cell, which is offered by EMD Millipore’s use of CCD cameras in place of photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) in its Amnis imaging flow cytometers.
Another was the growing interest by a broad range of scientists in compact, “personal” flow cytometers that can detect one to six colors. Smith-McCollum pointed out that new applications are enabled by imaging flow cytometry on the Amnis instrument. These include observation and analysis of nuclear translocation, morphometric applications, quantitation and location of fluors, and the trafficking of markers through different cellular organelles.
Whalley emphasized the simplification and miniaturization offered by the company’s Muse™ cell analyzer. According to Whalley, Muse is an entry-level cell analyzer that characterizes cells, performs direct cell counts, and quantifies protein-expression levels.
“The platform enables researchers to have access to the analytical analysis of flow cytometry at their lab bench or in the cell culture hood without any prior experience of the technology. It is a true plug and play system,” he said.
Mike Olszowy, Ph.D., head of R&D for Life Technologies’ flow cytometry business, reported that at recent flow cytometry meetings he noticed a trend away from an engineering focus on lasers and PMTs to more of an emphasis on biological questions. He has also observed a major trend toward simpler, smaller, and less expensive instruments. This is leading, he said, to a “democratization of flow cytometry.”