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Exp Hematol. 2002 Nov;30(11):1227-37.

Multiplexed microsphere-based flow cytometric assays.

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National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


Flow cytometry has become an indispensable tool for clinical diagnostics and basic research. Although primarily designed for cellular analysis, flow cytometers can detect any particles in the lower micron range, including inert microspheres of different sizes, dyed with various fluorochromes. Over the past 20 years, microspheres have been used as calibrators for flow cytometers and also as a solid support for numerous molecular reactions quantitated by flow cytometry. Proteins, oligonucleotides, polysaccharides, lipids, or small peptides have been adsorbed or chemically coupled to the surface of microspheres to capture analytes that are subsequently measured by a fluorochrome-conjugated detection molecule. More recently, assays for similar analytes have been multiplexed, or analyzed in the same assay volume, by performing each reaction on a set of microspheres that are dyed to different fluorescent intensities and, therefore, are spectrally distinct. Some recent applications with fluorescent microspheres have included cytokine quantitation, single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping, phosphorylated protein detection, and characterization of the molecular interactions of nuclear receptors. The speed, sensitivity, and accuracy of flow cytometric detection of multiple binding events measured in the same small volume have the potential to replace many clinical diagnostic and research methods and deliver data on hundreds of analytes simultaneously.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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