Research Support Centre
Technology Platforms

A*STAR Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN) Flow Cytometry Platform

A versatile tool that has revolutionised our ability to study and understand individual cells

These instruments ensure SIgN, A*STAR, and Singapore remain at the forefront of flow cytometry technology on par with other international research institutes. This will enable researchers in Singapore to conduct cutting-edge research, accelerate innovative discoveries and achieve high impact publications.  

Flow cytometry is a powerful tool used in biology to analyse properties of individual cells and particles in a fluid suspension. As the cells or particles flow through the system, they pass through lasers that excite fluorescent dyes and labels. The resulting fluorescence is detected and can be analysed to provide information about the characteristics of each individual cell or particle.

Flow cytometry is particularly useful for analysing large numbers of cells or particles quickly and accurately. It can be used to quantify a wide range of properties; such as relative size and complexity, as well as the presence or absence of specific surface markers or intracellular proteins.


Flow Cytometry_AriaFusion_1

Image 1. BD FACSAria Fusion, 5Lasers in biosafety cabinet



Flow cytometry is a powerful tool used in a variety of applications in biology and medicine. Here are some of the common applications for flow cytometry:


  1. Cells and small particles sorting: Cells and small particles can be stained, sorted and isolated based on their surface markers. This is useful for creating pure cell populations for further studies.
    • DNA/RNA Bulk and Single Cell Sequencing
    • Cell Culture and Clonal Expansion
    • Western Blot, etc.

  2. Immunophenotyping: Different cell types in the immune system can be identified and quantified based on the presence or absence of specific cell surfaces and intracellular markers. This is particularly useful for studying rare cell populations.
    • High-dimension broad or deep characterisation of human and mouse samples
    • Detection of fluorescent proteins in mouse models and cell lines
    • Biomarker detection
    • Disease monitoring

  3. Cell cycle analysis: Flow cytometry can be used to analyze the cell cycle of a population of cells, providing information about the proportion of cells in different phases of the cell cycle.

  4. Cell Proliferation, Health and Cytotoxicity Analysis: Cells undergoing proliferation, apoptosis or cytotoxicity can be quantified by flow cytometry.

  5. DNA content analysis: Flow cytometry can be used to analyze the DNA content of cells, providing information about the ploidy of a cell population and the presence of aneuploidy or chromosomal abnormalities.

  6. High-throughput screens of cells and analytes: Many flow analysers in the platform are equipped with high-throughput plate readers capable of reading 96 and 384-well plates. These are suitable for experiments with large number of samples and are especially useful for screening studies.
    • Bead-based Immunoassays for multiplexed analysis of secreted analytes
    • Clonal cells screening, e.g. CAR-T cells, hybridomas
    • Viral transfection and transformation efficiency studies


These are just a few examples of the many applications of flow cytometry in biology and medicine.



Techniques/Key Services

  • Sorting
    • Aseptic operator-assisted cell sorting
    • Operator-assisted small particle sorting
    • DIY cell sorting
    • Processing & Analysis
      • Tissue processing
      • Liquid tissue Immunophenotyping (e.g. whole blood, PBMCs)
      • Solid tissue immunophenotyping (e.g. tumour biopsies and resections, mouse tissues)
      • Small particles analysis
      • Apoptosis assays
      • Cell line characterization
      • Fluorescent mouse strains phenotyping
    • Consultation
      • Flow Cytometry study and experimental design
      • Panel design and optimisation
      • Data QC consultation: e.g. compensation matrix
      • Flow Cytometry training and educational seminars


    Key Equipment

    • Sorters
      • 2x BD FACSAria Fusion, 5Lasers*
      • BD FACSAria Fusion, 5Lasers
      • BD FACSAria Fusion, 4Lasers (small particle enabled)
      • BD FACSAria III, 3Lasers
      • BD FACSMelody, 3Lasers*
      • BD Influx, 3Lasers
      • Invitrogen BigFoot, 5Lasers

    *These cell sorters are placed in biosafety cabinets

    • Analysers
      • 2x BD FACSymphony A3, 5Lasers 
      • BD LSRFortessa, 4Lasers
      • BD FACSCelesta, 3Lasers
      • BD FACSCanto, 3Lasers
      • Agilent Novocyte Penteon, 5Lasers (small particle enabled)
      • Beckman Coulter CytoFLEX LX, 5Lasers (small particle enabled)
    • Spectral Analysers 
      • BD FACSymphony A5, 5Lasers
      • Cytek Aurora, 5Lasers



    Image 2. BD FACSymphony A3, 5Lasers


    Image 3. Agilent Novocyte Penteon, 5Lasers


    Image 4. Beckman Coulter CytoFLEX LX, 5Lasers


    For more information, you could reach out to RSC at or the following SIgN Flow Cytometry Platform contacts below.


    1. Access to SIgN Flow Cytometry's PPMS online booking system

    2.  SIgN Flow Cytometry Platform General Enquiries 

    3. You Yi Leon HWANG, SIgN Flow Cytometry Platform Head 

    4. Ivy LOW, SIgN Flow Cytometry Platform Manager