Flow Cytometry Resource Facility


The Flow Cytometry Resource Facility provides support for faculty and student research at Princeton University, as well as for investigators outside of the university at other academic institutions or private companies. In addition to providing access to the flow cytometers and cell sorting services, we provide technical support to assist in experimental design, data analysis/interpretation and presentation as well as in the development of novel flow cytometric and FACS based techniques.


Flow cytometry is a laser based analytical tool in which cells or small organisms in suspension flow at high speed past one or more focused laser light sources. Fluorescently labeled probes and dyes can be added to the sample to determine specific physical and/or biochemical properties of the cells. Optical filters and detectors direct and measure the scattered laser light as well as the fluorescence that is emitted from the cell. Various software platforms are used to acquire and analyze the data, which can be exported in several formats for presentation.


The facility analyzes and sorts a wide range of cell types and species including human, murine, porcine and insect cell lines as well as primary murine leukocytes and stem cells, bacteria, yeast, C. elegans, and aquatic organisms, which reflects the diversity of the research at Princeton University.


Facility Use

The Flow Cytometry Resource Facility provides flow cytometry (FC) and fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) services, training for independent use of certain instrumentation, and expert consultation to assist with experimental design and troubleshooting, as well as data analysis/interpretation and presentation.


To request training, consultation, cell sorting and/or assisted services, please register with iLab.



Getting Started with iLab:

  • Princeton Clients:  If you already have an account, log in (upper right corner) and go to the Request Services or Schedule Equipment tabs.  If you are a new user, log in (upper right corner) using a valid Princeton ID.
  • Non-Princeton Clients:  Please email cdecoste@princeton.edu directly with any questions about use of this facility.  If you already have an account, log in (upper right corner) with approved iLab credentials.  If you are a new external user, Register to setup an iLab account.
  • Visit the iLab Help Site or Customer Help Manual for further guidance using iLab's Core Facility Services.


About the Facility

The Flow Cytometry Resource Facility is available 24/7 for use of the flow cytometry benchtop analyzer and self-service FACS sorters by fully trained and authorized clients.

Staff assisted services are available Monday - Friday from 10am - 6pm, with after hours sort experiments available by special request.


Instrumentation Available


Cell Sorters:

  • BD Biosciences FACSAria Fusion **NEW in 2017**
  • BD Biosciences FACSVantage SE w/DiVa
  • BioRad Laboratories S3e
  • Union Biometrica COPAS BioSort

Flow Cytometer:

  • BD Biosciences 5-laser SORP LSRII w/ High-throughput sampler

Particle/Cell Counters:

  • Beckman Coulter Z2
  • BioRad Laboratories TC-20

CytoSpin Centrifuge:

  • ThermoScientific CytoSpin4


Commonly Used Applications and Fluorochromes

  • Cell phenotyping with fluorescently tagged monoclonal antibodies. Common fluorochromes include: FITC; Alexa 488, 635 and others; PE; PE-Cy5; PE-Cy7; PE-TxRed; PerCP-Cy5.5; PE-Cy7; APC; APC-Cy7; Pacific Blue; AmCyan; BV421; V450; V500, etc.
  • Cell cycle analysis and DNA content determination; proliferation; apoptosis/cell death; and cell counting assays: Propidium iodide (PI); Hoechst 33342; Sytox Green; Syto13; Pyronin Y; Acridine Orange; CFDA-SE and others.
  • Detection of one or more fluorescent proteins: EGFP, YFP, CyanFP, DsRed, HcRed, mRFP, mCherry, TagBFP and many others. The new multi-laser systems make it possible to simultaneously detect three or more fluorescent proteins.
  • Functional and biochemical experiments such as calcium flux, glutathione levels, phosphorylation states; measurement of intracellular proteins and transcription factors; bead array assays for cytokines and other secreted compounds; gain of function and loss of function studies and much, much more!


We appreciate that you have chosen our facility to conduct your study and would like to remind you to please add a statement along these lines to acknowledge the Flow Cytometry Resource Facility in your publications and presentations:


"We thank Christina DeCoste (and/or Katherine Rittenbach) and the Molecular Biology Flow Cytometry Resource Facility which is partially supported by the Cancer Institute of New Jersey Cancer Center Support Grant (P30CA072720)."


Christina J. DeCoste, Director

Phone: 609-258-1695
Email: cdecoste@princeton.edu

Katherine Rittenbach, Research Specialist

Phone: 609-258-2473
Email: kr7@princeton.edu


Location and hours of operation



Assisted Services:

(After hours sorting appointments are available upon request)     


Unassisted/Self-Use for approved, trained users: 



10am - 6pm                      






Moffett 122

Princeton University, Dept. of Molecular Biology

Princeton, NJ 08544



Name Role Phone Email Location
Christina J. DeCoste
Moffett 122
Katherine Rittenbach
Research Specialist
Moffett 122