BD offers a comprehensive portfolio of reagents and kits to study T cells from different perspectives, using a range of technologies.Among the methods used for studying T cells, multicolor flow cytometry is preeminent because it enables the characterization of highly complex T-cell subpopulations—both functionally and phenotypically. Complementary technologies such as ELISA, ELISPOT, and bead-based immunoassays also further research in the T-cell area, offering flexibility to meet a range of experimental needs and multiple methods to verify results.
Comparison of technologies for T cell research
The following table lists important characteristics of tools to help you find the ones that meet your particular experimental needs. Certain technologies can reveal specific information about a sample, or might better meet practical needs such as the available instrumentation or sample type. In some cases, researchers can use the combined information from multiple techniques to verify results. Different approaches can paint a detailed picture of the mechanisms contributing to T-cell development.
|Tool/Technology||Flow Cytometry: Surface||Flow Cytometry: Intracellular||BD™ Cytometric Bead Array (CBA)||ELISPOT||ELISA||In Vivo Capture Assay|
|Molecules detected||Surface||Intracellular and surface||Secreted or intracellular||Secreted (in situ)||Secreted||Secreted (in vivo)|
|Single cell/cell subset
|Yes||Yes||No||Frequencies, no subset
|Post-assay viability||Yes||No||Yes, for secreted molecules||No||Yes||Yes|
|Quantitation of protein||Possible*||Possible*||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Instrumentation||Flow cytometer||Flow cytometer||Flow cytometer||ELISPOT reader||Spectrophotometer||Spectrophotometer|
*With a standard such as BD Quantibrite™ beads
Immunophenotyping: combining surface and intracellular
Using multicolor flow cytometry—and combining surface phenotyping with intracellular staining of cytokines, transcription factors, or signaling molecules—you can identify individual T-cell subsets on the basis of their characteristic marker signature. BD's advanced reagent systems, extensive marker selection, and wealth of support tools help researchers simplify phenotyping and maximize the information obtained from individual samples.
BD Cytofix/Cytoperm™ reagents and the BD FastImmune™ cytokine system are reagents and protocols optimized to help you use flow cytometry to reproducibly measure cytokines within individual cells.
BD Phosflow™ reagents help you use multicolor flow cytometry to reliably measure the level of phosphorylated proteins involved in T-cell signaling, and combine the data with subset identification.
For detection of secreted cytokines within a sample, BD offers multiple assays. BD Cytometric Bead Array (CBA) technology allows quantitation of multiple soluble cytokines simultaneously, while BD OptEIA™ ELISA reagents are designed for quantitation of single cytokines. BD™ ELISPOT reagents enable determination of the frequency of cytokine-producing cells, and BD™ In Vivo Capture Assays allow quantitation by directly capturing cytokines in vivo.