Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cytometry A. 2012 Sep;81(9):785-96. doi: 10.1002/cyto.a.22086. Epub 2012 Jun 21.

NIST/ISAC standardization study: variability in assignment of intensity values to fluorescence standard beads and in cross calibration of standard beads to hard dyed beads.

Author information

  • 1Biochemical Science Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology(NIST), Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899-8312, USA.


Results from a standardization study cosponsored by the International Society for Advancement of Cytometry (ISAC) and the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are reported. The study evaluated the variability of assigning intensity values to fluorophore standard beads by bead manufacturers and the variability of cross calibrating the standard beads to stained polymer beads (hard-dyed beads) using different flow cytometers. Hard dyed beads are generally not spectrally matched to the fluorophores used to stain cells, and spectral response varies among flow cytometers. Thus if hard dyed beads are used as fluorescence calibrators, one expects calibration for specific fluorophores (e.g., FITC or PE) to vary among different instruments. Using standard beads surface-stained with specific fluorophores (FITC, PE, APC, and Pacific Blue™), the study compared the measured intensity of fluorophore standard beads to that of hard dyed beads through cross calibration on 133 different flow cytometers. Using robust CV as a measure of variability, the variation of cross calibrated values was typically 20% or more for a particular hard dyed bead in a specific detection channel. The variation across different instrument models was often greater than the variation within a particular instrument model. As a separate part of the study, NIST and four bead manufacturers used a NIST supplied protocol and calibrated fluorophore solution standards to assign intensity values to the fluorophore beads. Values assigned to the reference beads by different groups varied by orders of magnitude in most cases, reflecting differences in instrumentation used to perform the calibration. The study concluded that the use of any spectrally unmatched hard dyed bead as a general fluorescence calibrator must be verified and characterized for every particular instrument model. Close interaction between bead manufacturers and NIST is recommended to have reliable and uniformly assigned fluorescence standard beads.

Copyright © 2012 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk