Modular Flow Cytometer
For many applications on the cutting edge of research, “one-size” most definitely doesn’t “fit all.” Whether your work requires the use of exotic light sources, custom flow cells, or novel detection schemes, the need for flexibility and customization is often at odds with the capabilities of fixed-layout, turnkey systems.
We designed and developed a flexible, modular, and completely customizable solution to address this kind of need. With a modular system architecture and built mainly using off-the-shelf components, the Potomac Modular Flow Cytometer adapts to your requirements.
Interior of a 2-laser, 6-detector Potomac.
A 2-laser, 7-detector Potomac installed at the National Cancer Institute.
The Potomac architecture can support from 1 to 7 lasers, and from 4 to 20 channels of detection. Solid-state excitation lasers (from Toptica, Qioptiq, Pavilion, and others) are fiber-coupled for stable delivery and to make it easy to swap or replace sources without the need for realignment. Filters from Semrock, Alluxa, and Chroma provide spectral separation. The detection channels use compact Hamamatsu PMTs or silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) from SensL. The entire optomechanical structure is based on rails and cube/rods assemblies (from Thorlabs and others) to simplify alignment, modifications, and upgrades. The fluidic system offers a choice between a dual syringe pump and a traditional pressurized-sheath drive. A custom signal processing and DAQ unit manages data collection and formatting.
Standard laser options (up to 7):
- 405 nm (≤ 180 mW)
- 488 nm (≤ 120 mW)
- 532 nm (≤ 100 mW)
- 561 nm (≤ 100 mW)
- 594 nm (≤ 30 mW)
- 640 nm (≤ 120 mW)
- 785 nm (≤ 180 mW)
Custom laser options (powers vary 50 – 300 mW):
- 375, 395, 420, 445, 460, 473, 505, 515, 633, 660, 685, 705, 750, 730, 830, 850 nm
- FSC: 2 – 10°
- SSC: 90°, 1.2 NA
- up to 18 channels
- customizable bandpass selections
- PMTs or silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs)
Hydrostatic pressure injection option:
- 8-L sheath capacity, pressure up to 30 psig
- Sample injection speed: 1 – 100 µL/min
Syringe drive sample injection option:
- Sample size: 5, 10, 20, 50, or 100 µL
- Injection speed: 0.1 – 60 µL/min
- Flow Cytometry Standard (FCS) 3.0
Sensitivity (488-nm excitation, 530/30-nm channel):
- FITC ≤ 1000 MESF (typ.)
- 5/6 Spherotech Rainbow bead peaks
- CV 6% (typ.)
- 10,000 events/s (typ.)
- 24” x 36” x 10” (W x L x H) (separate sheath and waste tanks)
- 150 lbs. (2-laser, 7-detector system)
- 15°–30°C, 60% RH
- North America: 120 VAC, 50/60 Hz, 5A
- Japan: 100 VAC, 50/60 Hz, 5A
- Rest of world: 230 VAC, 50/60 Hz, 3A