Director: Nicholas Arpaia, Ph.D.
Manager: Amir Figueroa

The Department of Microbiology & Immunology Flow Cytometry Core assists researchers in flow cytometry based studies. Cell samples can be quickly analyzed based on phenotypic markers and functional assays. Characterization of distinct cell populations based on these techniques has become increasingly important in biomedical research. Flow cytometry is especially useful for physically separating specific sub-populations defined by specific parameters using a fluorescence activated cell sorter (FACS).

Services include:

  • Analytical flow cytometry for immunophenotyping

  • Flow cytometry for apoptosis and cell cycle

  • Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS)

  • Fluorochrome panel design

The shared resource operates three flow cytometers. The LSR Fortessa, LSR II are designed for multi-fluorescence analysis while the custom configured FACS Aria II SORP high-speed cell sorter is capable of rapid sorting of cells, bacteria, yeast, and other small particles based on multiple parameter characteristics into highly pure populations. All of the units have five lasers and are capable of simultaneous 18-color detection of apoptosis, DNA/cell cycle analysis, detection of novel living color fluorescent proteins (DsRed, mCherry, tdTomato, mOrange, mPlum, et al.), immunophenotyping and calcium influx experiments.

The flow cytometric separation of cells from unfixed animal tissue is possible on the BD FACS Aria II cell sorter, which is housed in a Baker BioProtect IV biohazard cabinet. For unfixed human specimens, please contact Amir Figueroa. Before the initial sort is performed, each user is required to provide biosafety information including cell type, origin of sample and special requirements.

In additional to these systems, the facility also has a state-of-the-art Zeiss LSM710 ConfoCorr confocal imaging microscope system, a Zeiss AxioVert microscope, and a Typhoon Trio imaging system.


Department of Microbiology & Immunology
Flow Cytometry Core
Columbia University
701 W. 168 St., HHSC 1211A
New York, NY 10032
Tel. 212-342-4089