What is Flow Cytometry?

Flow cytometry is a scientific method used to measure and characterize cells in a fluid as it passes through one or multiple lasers.

In flow cytometry, cells are fluorescently labeled using antibodies conjugated to fluorescent dyes, which emit light of different wavelengths upon excitation by a specific laser.

For a full introduction to this subject take a look at our Flow Cytometry Basics Guide.

Characteristics commonly measured in a flow cytometry experiment are cell size, relative granularity and relative fluorescence. Many different techniques can be performed including cell counting, cell sorting, immunophenotyping, biomarker detection and protein engineering. In diagnostics, flow cytometry is routinely used to detect, distinguish and monitor disease in benign and malignant hematopoietic disorders such as various leukemia and lymphoma types.

In addition to information on instruments, antibodies, kits and reagents that have been validated for use in flow cytometry, including the new StarBright Dyes, this page provides links to useful tools, webinars, articles, blogs, references and resources. Together these provide all the information you might need to start successful flow cytometry experiments.

Flow Cytometry Products



Flow Cytometry Knowledge

Flow Cytometry Resources

Antibody Performance Guarantee


Antibody Performance Guarantee

Bio-Rad offers a performance guarantee in key immunological applications including Flow Cytometry, Immunohistochemistry, Immunoassays, Western Blotting and Immunofluorescence.

Flow tips and tricks

  1. Familiarize yourself with your flow cytometer. Most new cytometer’s will have three lasers or more (lasers: violet, blue and red). Yellow lasers are rare and are mainly used for the detection of fluorescent proteins, such as GFP, in bacteria or yeast.
  2. Once you know your flow cytometer set-up determine your specific configuration (e.g. what detectors are included in the cytometer). Together with the lasers these provide information on which and how many colors can be simultaneously detected (for a new cytometer this would be 5 or more).

View all Ten tips and tricks for the design of multi-color flow panels .