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Sorting efficiency, in fundamental terms, is a real-time measurement, generated by the instrument, of how successfully its sorting system is able to resolve cells that we want to sort (target events) from cells we do not want to sort (non-target events). In order for the instrument’s sort output be acceptable with respect to the researcher’s needs, it is not sufficient to simply tell the instrument WHAT to sort, but is also critical to tell the instrument HOW to sort the target population. The HOW is determined by the sort modes.

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The most important part of executing a flow cytometry experiment correctly is actually understanding what you are doing. This means you must understand the terms and definitions that are critical to the field of flow cytometry. You must also be able to communicate your methodologies and results intelligently. To this end, we have compiled this list of the top 12 most commonly unknown or commonly misunderstood flow cytometry terms and definitions.

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