What Is Dynamic Range
Dynamic range is the total range of fluorescent values obtained from a particular flow cytometry assay. It is defined as the ratio of the largest possible fluorescent signal to the smallest possible fluorescent signal.
The dynamic range can vary based on the application. For example, a cell cycle assay may have a dynamic range of only 1000 fluorescence units. Surface staining against CD3 may have a dynamic range of 10,000.
There is some debate as to the largest dynamic range required for flow cytometry, with some estimates putting the largest required dynamic range at about 3.5 and others arguing for a larger dynamic range. This has lead to the proliferation of instruments with expanded scales to allow for 6, 7, and even up to 10 units of dynamic range.