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flow cytometry

Synonyms:
  • FACS
Cell biology. A technique used for counting and characterization of cells by size, shape, and stain uptake. Cells obtained from a cell suspension are usually stained with one or more fluorescent dyes specific to cell components of interest. The fluorescence of each cell is measured as one cell at a time transverses the excitation beam. Ten thousands of cells can be examined per minute.

The acronym FACS (fluorescence activated cell sorting) is trademarked and owned by Becton Dickinson, but is more often used as a synonyme for flow cytometry.