Scanning power and ultra wide flow cell: these two properties make the CytoSense flow cytometer a valuable tool for analysis of a wide range of cells, aggregates and filamentous particles in (bio)medical applications such as sperm cells, islets of Langerhans, muscle fibers etc. The CytoSense flow channel of 1 mm square (1.5 x 1.5 mm optional) is large enough to analyze big cells and aggregates and the instrument is sensitive enough to analyse very small cells (down to submicron). The maximum length of the particles is theoretically unlimited allowing long filaments to be analyzed accurately and their morphology to be examined., e.g. the analysis of muscle fiber cells and the localization of fluorescence spots. The scanning data format (comparable to slit-scan technology) allows fast and accurate scanning at a rate of up to thousands of particles per second, yielding accurate scan profiles of scattering and fluorescence of individual particles over their stretched length axis.
An example is sperm cell analysis. Whereas in regular flow cytometric sperm cell analysis the sperm cells need to be discriminated from the rest of the particles by fluorescent staining this is unnecessary with the CytoSense. CytoSense data allows the recognition of sperm cells from other cells and debris by shape only (no fluorescent staining required for that). The long tail of the sperm cells shows up in the light scatter signals and allows differentiation from other particle types without fluorescent staining. This type of analysis was proven useful in fertility monitoring of swine sperm, for example.
Off course staining is still possible, and might be useful. Life/dead discrimination for example, can be done using a single staining step. This may accommodate combination with other types of fluorescent staining, e.g. for mitochondria research. Also, the location of the fluorochrome in the cell shows up in the scan data - it is possible to see for instance whether the fluorescent stain is present in the head of the sperm cell only or in the neck region or over the entire cell (as in the picture).