Smaller, Faster Flow Cytometer Could Be Used by Clinical Laboratories in Community Hospitals to Support Personalized Medical Diagnostics

Researchers in Germany want to shrink flow cytometers—currently as large as home washing machines—down to the size of a shoebox, while making their device more accurate

Flow cytometers, essential to the diagnosis of blood cancers, are in for a major makeover, if researchers at a technology institute in Germany are successful at engineering a smaller, cheaper, and more automated version of today’s large and expensive flow cytometer systems. If this happens, it would make it possible for clinical laboratories in many community hospitals to use these more compact flow cytometers in support of patient care.

Flow cytometers have been around for about 40 years; however, the equipment is expensive, large, and the process so lengthy and complex that only specially-trained scientists can operate it. Those factors make it difficult for patients and clinicians to reap the full benefit of the information that flow cytometry can yield. (more…)