How cells die / Lissinda Du Plessis
Du Plessis, Lissinda Hester
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Flow cytometry is a technology that measures and analyzes the optical properties of mono-dispersed single particles, such as cells, bacteria, picoplankton, microbeads, yeast, platelets, nuclei and other similarly-sized particles, passing single file through a focused laser beam. The laser can excite fluorophores that have been used to mark various molecules or physiological functions of the particles. The use of fluorophores with different fluorescence characteristics, multiple lasers and multiple photo detectors allows flow cytometers to measure many characteristics of each particle simultaneously. An important feature of flow cytometry is that large numbers, for example thousands of particles per second, are analyzed and therefore provide a statistically significant picture of a specimen's physical and biochemical make-up. In this inaugural address the focus will be on how we implemented flow cytometry in cellular toxicology or the study of how cell dies.