Flow cytometry protocols

Flow Cytometry Protocols

Direct and indirect staining, staining of intracellular antigens, permeabilization and cell preparation protocols


The flow cytometry protocols below provide detailed procedures for the treatment and staining of cells prior to using a flow cytometer.

Protocols are available for:

  • Direct staining of cells applicable where the fluorophore is directly linked to the primary antibody
  • Indirect staining of cells applicable when using unconjugated or biotin-conjugated monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies
  • Intracellular staining methods for intracellular antigens and cytokines
  • DNA staining for cell cycle analysis
  • Cell preparation
direct staining flow cytometry protocols

Direct Staining Flow Cytometry Protocols

This is one of the simplest and most common staining methods, where live or fixed cells are incubated with directly labeled antibodies against cell surface antigens

  1. Direct immunofluorescence staining surface epitopes of cells and blood
  2. Direct immunofluorescence staining of immunoglobulin light chains on B lymphocytes in whole blood
indirect staining flow cytometry protocols

Indirect Staining Flow Cytometry Protocols

If there is not a directly labeled antibody available, or you wish to amplify your signal you can do indirect staining. This is where you stain a cell with a primary antibody against the antigen of interest and visualize using a labeled secondary antibody which recognizes the primary.

  1. Indirect immunofluorescence staining of surface epitopes of cells and blood
intracellular staining flow cytometry protocols

Intracellular Staining Flow Cytometry Protocols

In order to detect antigen not present on the cell surface, cells have to be fixed and permeabilized to disrupt the cell membrane and allow entry of the antibody. Antigens can be then directly or indirectly labeled. Various methods are optimal depending on the antigen and antibody used.

  1. Direct staining of intracellular antigens: Leucoperm™ Accessory Reagent method
  2. Direct immunofluorescence staining of intracellular cytokines in blood
  3. Direct immunofluorescence staining of intracellular antigens: Methanol plus Leucoperm™ Accessory Reagent method
  4. Direct immunofluorescence staining of intracellular antigens: Digitonin method
  5. Direct immunofluorescence of intracellular antigens: Paraformaldehyde / Saponin method
cell cycle flow cytometry protocols

Cell Cycle Staining Flow Cytometry Protocols

Measuring DNA content for cell cycle analysis requires fixation and permeabilization of the nuclear membrane. We have protocols for staining using DNA binding dyes with and without antibody staining and a protocol for BrdU staining.

  1. Immunofluorescence staining of cells in combination with PI staining of cells for cell cycle analysis
  2. Propidium iodide staining of cells for cell cycle analysis
  3. BrdU staining of cells for cell cycle analysis
cell preparation flow cytometry protocols

Cell Preparation Flow Cytometry Protocols

Below are protocols for harvesting cells from various sources to obtain healthy cells, essential for optimal staining and analysis.

  1. Preparation of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells
  2. Preparation of cells for Flow Cytometry
  3. Preparation of peritoneal macrophages, bone marrow, thymus and spleen cells