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Methods. 2012 Jul;57(3):251-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2012.02.009. Epub 2012 Feb 25.

Cytometry: today's technology and tomorrow's horizons.

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  • 1ImmunoTechnology Section, VRC, NIAID, NIH, 40 Convent Dr., Room 5509, Bethesda, MD 20817, USA.


Flow cytometry has been the premier tool for single cell analysis since its invention in the 1960s. It has maintained this position through steady advances in technology and applications, becoming the main force behind interrogating the complexities of the immune system. Technology development was a three-pronged effort, including the hardware, reagents, and analysis algorithms to allow measurement of as many as 20 independent parameters on each cell, at tens of thousands of cells per second. In the coming years, cytometry technology will integrate with other techniques, such as transcriptomics, metabolomics, and so forth. Ongoing efforts are aimed at algorithms to analyse these aggregated datasaets over large numbers of samples. Here we review the development efforts heralding the next stage of flow cytometry.

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