Flow Cytometry Core Unit

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  • Irene Fernández
  • Julia García
  • Ana María Elizabeth Ilie

Flow Cytometry is a fast and multiparametric technology of great value in the study of immune responses in the context of cancer. It allows for the identification, quantification and isolation of defined subpopulations of cells, based on the levels of expression of fluorescent markers and their relation to each other at the single cell level.

Our aim is to provide the CNIO Groups with technical and scientific advice on the use of flow cytometry, collaborating with them in the design, acquisition, data analysis and interpretation.

We currently have 3 polychromatic flow cytometers and 1 spectral cytometer, plus 3 high-speed cell sorters with different optical configurations to cater our users’ needs. We also have an automated magnetic bead separation system and a tissue homogeniser to standardise sample preparation. Users operate the analytical cytometers upon appropriate training, and the Unit staff operate the Unit cell sorters, which can separate up to 4- or 6- defined populations simultaneously, as well as perform single cell cloning and index sorting. We can accept human samples to sort under BSL2 regulations.


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  • Barker-Tejeda TC, Zubeldia-Varela E, Macías-Camero A, Alonso L, Martín-Antoniano IA, Rey-Stolle MF, Mera-Berriatua L, Bazire R, Cabrera-Freitag P, Shanmuganathan M, Britz-McKibbin P, Ubeda C, Francino MP, Barber D, Ibáñez-Sandín MD, Barbas C, Pérez-Gordo M, Villaseñor A. (2024). Comparative characterization of the infant gut microbiome and their maternal lineage by a multi-omics approach. Nat Commun 15, 3004. CNIO Publication.
  • Perez-Gonzalez A, Lopes T, Martinez L, Bispo C, Gardner R, Riddell A. (2024). Evaluation of Sort Recovery via Rmax. Curr Protocols 4, e986. CNIO Publication.
  • Back JB, Martinez L, Nettenstrom L, Sheerar D, Thornton S (2022). Establishing a biosafety plan for a flow cytometry shared resource laboratory. Cytom Part A 101, 380-386. CNIO Publication.
  • Palma F, Affinito A, Nuzzo S, Roscigno G, Scognamiglio I, Ingenito F, Martinez L, Franzese M, Zanfardino M, Soricelli A, Fiorelli A, Condorelli G, Quintavalle C (2020). miR-34c-3p targets CDK1 a synthetic lethality partner of KRAS in non-small cell lung cancer. Cancer Gene Ther (in press). CNIO Publication.
  • Aspland AM, Douagi I, Filby A, Jellison ER, Martinez L, Shinko D, Smith AL, Tang VA, Thornton S (2020). Biosafety during a pandemic: shared resource laboratories rise to the challenge.. Cytometry (in press). CNIO Publication. Open Access Open Access
  • Daniels K, Conway A, Gardner R, Martinez L, Price KM, Schneider S, Sheridan R, Srivastava J, Thornton S (2020). Remote Training of SRL Users and Staff in a Global Pandemic. Cytometry (in press). CNIO Publication. Open Access Open Access