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What Is An Isotype Control

What Is An Isotype Control

By: Tim Bushnell, PhD

Do you know what an isotype control is? Isotype refers to the genetic variation in the heavy and light chains that make up the whole antibody moiety. In mammals, there are 9 possible heavy chain isotypes and two light chain isotypes. Every antibody will have a specific isotype, and this is available on the technical information spec sheet. For example, you might have an antibody with an isotype of IgG1, kappa. This indicates the heavy chain is of the IgG1 isotype. Where things get interesting is that these isotypes can have different non-specific binding affinity to cells, which has lead…

What Is Titration

What Is Titration

By: Tim Bushnell, PhD

Titration is the process of identifying the best concentration to use an antibody for a given assay. While the vendor will provide a specific concentration to use, this may not be appropriate for your assay. Performing titration is a simple process: fix the cell concentration, the time of incubation, the volume of reaction and temperature. The below data will help you understand what is titration. The graph displays an antibody from Leinco Technologies () that was used to stain 1×106 cells for 20 minutes on ice. To identify the best concentration to use, the modified Staining Index was calculated (see…

Differential Pressure

Differential Pressure

By: Tim Bushnell, PhD

Differential pressure based flow cytometers currently dominate the market. These systems have two pressure regulators. The first is at a constant pressure that sets how fast the fluids runs at. The second is regulated by the investigator (like as shown on this LSR-II control panel). As the sample pressure goes from low, to medium, to high, the pressure on the sample increases. This results in the volume of the sample increasing (from ~15 ml/min to ~60 ml/min). The difference between the sample pressure and the sheath pressure is the differential pressure. This controls the width of the core stream and…

5 Keys To Writing A Shared Instrument Grant

5 Keys To Writing A Shared Instrument Grant

By: Tim Bushnell, PhD

I’m a scientist, not Perry Mason. I’m not a defense attorney or a detective. Why would I say that? Because well before March grant writers need to be a Perry Mason – make the case and defend it to have a successful Shared Instrument Grant (SIG). For those running core facilities (or Shared Resource Laboratories), then March is a critical time of the year, and we’re not talking basketball. A grant is a true story. This year’s deadline is March 21. It’s critically important in this tight funding climate to make sure nothing moves your grant from the “must-fund” to…

How To Train Your Personnel

How To Train Your Personnel

By: Tim Bushnell, PhD

ExCyte chooses to train people in flow cytometry because we know what it’s like to feel the pain of ruined experiments. No one enjoys wasting thousands of dollars on reagents and priceless amounts of instrument and personnel time. This is especially true when grant funding comes into play. No one wants to miss out on a grant simply because the technology is too complex to master alone in a vacuum. How much time, money and resources are wasted by half-trained individuals trying to operate complex cytometers sold as pushbutton washing machines? Every vendor sells the dream that their instrument can…

The Importance Of Teaching With Integrity And Passion

The Importance Of Teaching With Integrity And Passion

By: Tim Bushnell, PhD

Flow cytometry education has grown phenomenally in response to more sophisticated instrumentation, growing demands for more sensitive, high-speed and multi-parameter flow. Specialized training is critical to any flow lab competing in today’s global marketplace. The key is to find the right trainer. As a core director or lab manager, how can you tell if the training course you’re interested in is both credible and relevant in today’s fast paced and constantly evolving market? Some tips and tricks: 1. Ask for references. Ask for names of people who teach the course. Are they in a modern and competitive lab or business? Are…

The Jablonski Diagram

The Jablonski Diagram

By: Tim Bushnell, PhD

A Jablonski diagram illustrates the electronic states of a molecule as well as the transitions between them. These states are arranged vertically by energy and grouped horizontally by spin multiplicity. Nonradiative transitions are indicated by straight arrows and radiative transitions by squiggly arrows. The vibrational states of each electronic state are indicated with parallel horizontal lines. For flow cytometry, its important to note that the energy of the emission is usually less than that of the absorption. As such, fluorescence normally occurs at lower energies or longer wavelengths.

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