Streamlining the Flow Cytometry Experiment Workflow: Challenges and Solutions
February 09, 2023
Flow cytometry is a powerful technique for enumerating and characterizing immune cell phenotypes and analyzing them in depth. It provides an enormous amount of data that can be exploited for high-dimensional analyses. Flow cytometry experiments are inherently complex, involving multiple steps that are often shared between lab members. Experimental design configurations and setup are used repeatedly and moved from one system to another by different lab members. Repeating these steps can induce mistakes, are time consuming and can preclude users from focusing on their science.
To streamline your experimental workflow, BD Biosciences, a leader in panel design education, and the creators of FlowJo™ Software, developed BD® Research Cloud (BD RC), a unique collaborative ecosystem. This cloud-based software helps you organize your projects, create customized workflows, track collaborative experiments, store metadata in the context of the experiment, design flow cytometry panels and quickly and easily collaborate with your colleagues.
Here are three ways you can utilize BD RC to streamline your flow cytometry experimental workflow:
1. Use a predefined workflow that can guide you through the panel design process
Reagent Selector is a predefined workflow available in BD RC to guide you through the panel design process. It’s a five-step workflow that helps you select your instrument, define your biology, choose antibody and fluorochrome pairings, and choose reagents and order them for your experiment.
The workflow enables panel design for the markers and subpopulations you define using available reagents that are compatible with your instrument.
Reagent Selector uses the input you provide on your cytometer configuration and your biological hypothesis to determine which fluorochromes are measurable on your instrument. Your cytometer configuration will also be used to assign fluorochromes to primary detectors and to generate a BD FACSDiva™ Software experiment template, if applicable.
Reagent Selector will provide reagents that are available in the BD catalog and custom reagents that have been defined by you.
Using the Reagent Selector tool in BD RC enables you to easily select and order reagents, share your panel with your team members or request a quote for custom reagents.
Get more information from the BD RC frequently asked questions and answers , including detailed explanations on how to use the Reagent Selector and on other aspects of BD RC.
2. Use an organized setup for creating and organizing your projects, storing data and sharing information with your team members
Since each flow cytometry experiment is unique and complex, information specific to each experiment is often organized and stored in different systems. This makes it difficult to access that information easily and to share it between team members.
BD RC makes it easy to manage your research projects and store all the information related to your flow workflow in one single platform.
BD RC provides a cloud-based storage platform that enables you to create, organize, store and share all the information on a single site. The workflow functionality can help you organize all the data, metadata and resources associated with an experiment and then easily go back to that information as you work toward publication. You can assign workflows or specific tasks to other members of your organization and define who can see and participate in your work.
3. Prepare all input data and annotate them in advance of your data analysis
Adding all the information about your experiment, such as experimental layout, panel design specifications, selected reagents and defined keywords in the FCS files, on your cytometer can be a cumbersome process. Using BD RC to outline your experimental process will help you save time.
Using BD RC allows you to add this information away from your cytometer and import it to BD FACSDiva™ Software. Store and share these data easily and start analyzing your data right away.
BD RC is built by the creators of FlowJo™ Software. If you already have a FlowJo Portal ID, sign-up for BD RC and start organizing your lab projects, designing your panels and collaborating with your colleagues in just a few steps.
Reimagine the way you work. Watch the BD RC video to learn more about this unique cloud-based platform for your flow cytometry experiments.