Courtesy of DakoCytomation

NASA scientists, in conjunction with Guava Technologies of Hayward, Calif., recently announced a compact prototype flow cytometer that functions in zero-gravity, for use aboard the International Space Station. Most investigators looking for a portable or benchtop system will have more down-to-earth needs, but the announcement reveals just how small these tools are getting.

In fact, you can outfit your lab with a simple laptop-sized cytometer for as little as $10,000, or spend well into six figures on a multilaser system capable of measuring more than a dozen different colors. How then should you decide? On the following pages, we compare 24 cytometers by sorting ability, throughput, speed, excitation sources, and number of detection parameters.



Too often, scientists will rush to buy a cytometer without knowing whether the machine meets the needs of their lab. "Many purchasers buy too little or...

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