Cell analyzer with proven reliability

The BD FACSCanto™ family of benchtop analyzers features reliable performance and accurate results for experiments requiring up to 10 parameters*.

Numerous innovations make the system easy to use, powerful, and productive. A fixed alignment flow cell, for example, minimizes startup time and improves reproducibility. And a patented optical design maximizes signal detection and increases sensitivity and resolution for each color in a multicolor assay.

Fluidics Optics Options Research Applications

High Performance, Innovative System

The BD FACSCanto™ II system features many innovations. At the heart of the cytometer, for example, the fluidics system features a fixed-alignment flow cell to minimize startup time and improve reproducibility. The BD FACSCanto II fluidics system is designed to streamline work, save time, and improve performance. In the fluidics system, the sample travels up the sample injection tube, and hydrodynamic focusing within the flow cell forces particles into a single-file stream where laser light intercepts the stream at the sample interrogation point. The unique flow cell design permits particles to flow through the center of the flow cell. Increasing the sample pressure increases the core diameter and the flow rate.

Fluidics cart

A fluidics cart holds large fluid tanks necessary to operate and maintain the instrument. For sample acquisition, positive-pressure pumps in the fluidics cart send sheath fluid past a 0.2-μm filter to a pressurized interior reservoir inside the instrument called the plenum. The plenum maintains a nearly constant fluid level and dampens pump pulsation using a new dynamic feedback pressure control system designed to regulate pressure. As a result, sheath flow rate does not vary with the level of fluid in the sheath cubitainer, and the reservoir automatically removes small air bubbles from the sheath supply.

Hydrodynamic focusing

A high flow rate is generally used for measurements such as immunophenotyping, for which data is less resolved but is acquired more quickly. A lower flow rate is generally used in applications for which optimal resolution and sensitivity are critical.


Daily routine procedures such as startup, shutdown, and cleaning routine cycles are automated as a result of fluidic integration with BD FACSCanto clinical software or BD FACSDiva™ software. BD FACS™ shutdown solution prevents salt crystal buildup in fluidics lines and is supplemented with a preservative to prevent bacterial growth. During the instrument shutdown procedure, BD FACS shutdown solution replaces sheath fluid in all sample and sheath fluid lines.

LED alerts

LEDs are located in the front door to monitor each acquisition parameter. Each LED blinks when the signal level reaches a prescribed threshold.

Innovative Optical Design Delivers Highest Sensitivity

The innovative designs for both the excitation and collection optics reduce excitation losses, yielding more information from each sample. The optics of the BD FACSCanto™ II system consist of an excitation source with up to three lasers: blue (488-nm, air-cooled, 20-mW solid state), red (633-nm, 17-mW HeNe), and violet (405-nm, 30-mW solid state). Laser excitation optics illuminate cells in the sample and collection optics direct light scatter and fluorescence signals through spectral filters to the detectors.


The excitation optics consist of multiple fixed-wavelength lasers, fiber optics up to the beam-shaping prisms, and achromatic focusing lenses that produce spatially separated beam spots in the flow cell. Each lens focuses the laser light into the gel-coupled cuvette flow cell. Since the optical pathway and the sample core stream are fixed, alignment is fixed from day to day and from experiment to experiment with no need for user intervention.


The emission signals are transmitted from the flow cell to the detector arrays: an octagon for the blue and a trigon each for the red and the violet laser signals. The octagon contains five PMTs and detects light from the 488-nm blue laser. A PMT in the octagon collects side scatter signals. The trigons contain two PMTs each and detect light from the 633-nm (red) and the 405-nm (violet) lasers.

Collection optics

The octagon and trigon are BD-patented detector arrays that use serial light reflections to guide signals to their target detectors, resulting in highly efficient light collection and providing maximum signal retention at the detector level. This BD serial reflective design further enhances instrument sensitivity by collecting the dimmest emission signals first, moving from the longest wavelengths (typically PE-Cy™7) to the shortest (FITC).

Options and Related Tools to Support Lab Requirements

Sample introduction productivity can be gained with the optional BD FACS™ Loader or the BD™ High Throughput Sampler (HTS).
The BD FACS Loader is an instrument option that allows walkaway sample introduction to further improve productivity. The BD FACS Loader carousel accommodates up to forty 12 x 75-mm tubes and automatically loads them on the BD FACSCanto™ II system without operator intervention.

BD FACS Loader

Mounted directly on the cytometer, the device includes a drive system, a tube lifter mechanism, and sensors on the sliding drawer. Two sliding doors safely enclose the drawer to protect technicians from moving parts during operation.
The BD FACS Loader utilizes compressed air to allow a more reliable tube load, as well as an intelligent tube guide mechanism that automatically sends an alert if a tube is not properly positioned for loading.
A unique ID and optically-read label are printed on each carousel for easy carousel identification. The BD FACS Loader is operated through both BD FACSCanto clinical software and BD FACSDiva™ software. The BD FACS Loader is compatible with the BD FACS™ Sample Prep Assistant (SPA) and the BD FACS™ Lyse Wash Assistant (LWA).

BD High Throughput Sampler*

The optional BD High Throughput Sampler (HTS) provides fully automated and rapid sample acquisition that can speed through a microtiter plate in less then 15 minutes, with less than 1% sample carryover. In high-throughput mode, fast acquisition speed is achieved by synchronizing two high-precision pumps for sample mixing, sample injection, and probe washing. Standard-throughput mode can be selected for acquisition of larger sample volumes. The HTS supports standard 96- and 384-well plates. It is operated using BD FACSDiva software, allowing users to define customized delivery protocols, mixing, wash, and analysis parameters.

Sample preparation support

BD Biosciences offers two BD FACSCanto II complementary instruments to help busy laboratories increase speed, reduce variability, and streamline sample preparation.
The BD FACS™ Sample Preparation Assistant II (SPA II) supports walkaway lyse/no wash sample processing. The BD FACS™ Lyse Wash Assistant (LWA) lyses, mixes, washes, and resuspends samples in PBS. Pre-programmed and custom protocols are available.

Barcode reader

The optional BD FACSCanto II hand-held barcode reader reads two-dimensional barcode labels and it is used to read the compensation matrix of the BD FACS™ 7-color setup beads reagent into BD FACSCanto clinical software.

A Powerful Platform for Research Use

For the research lab, the BD FACSCanto™ II system has the versatility to meet demanding research requirements. The system brings BD flow cytometry and multicolor analysis to a new level to help researchers meet complex challenges and advance their research.

BD FACSDiva software for setup, acquisition, and analysis*

BD FACSDiva software efficiently controls the setup, acquisition, and analysis of flow cytometry data from the BD FACSCanto II workstation.

BD FACSDiva™ operating software is common across many BD cell analyzers and cell sorters, including BD™ LSR and BD FACSAria™ systems, giving researchers application flexibility.

BD FACSDiva software enables researchers to preview and record data from multiple samples with an automated acquisition process. Acquisition templates, user-defined experiment layouts, and simple compensation procedures also managed by the software further facilitate acquisition.

For analysis, the software includes powerful features such as hierarchical snap-to gating, a variety of plots, and batch analysis. Recorded data can be analyzed by creating plots, gates, population hierarchies, and statistical views on a BD FACSDiva global worksheet. The global worksheet can be used to analyze multiple sample tubes from the same experiment, to save time. User-defined batch analysis and automated capabilities such as gate resizing, pausing between data files, exporting statistics, and printing before proceeding to the next data file are additional BD FACSDiva features.

Cytometer Setup and Tracking

BD™ Cytometer Setup and Tracking (CS&T) beads provide, in a single-vial reagent format, automated determination of BD FACSCanto II configuration baselines and monitoring of performance over time using BD FACSDiva software. BD™ CompBeads Compensation Particle Sets are designed to optimize compensation settings in multicolor flow cytometry. Particularly helpful when using tandem dye conjugates, these particle sets simplify establishing compensation corrections for spectral overlap for any combination of fluorochrome-labeled antibodies.

Lysed whole human blood

Eight-color immunophenotyping panel using FITC, PE, PerCP-Cy™5.5, PE-Cy™7, APC, APC-Cy7, AmCyan, and Pacific Blue™ fluorophores.



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Cy™ is a trademark of Amersham Biosciences Corp. Cy dyes are subject to proprietary rights of Amersham Biosciences Corp and Carnegie Mellon University and are made and sold under license from Amersham Biosciences Corp only for research and in vitro diagnostic use. Any other use requires a commercial sublicense from Amersham Biosciences Corp, 800 Centennial Avenue, Piscataway, NJ 08855-1327, USA.

Pacific Blue™ is a trademark of Molecular Probes, Inc.

For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.

Unless otherwise noted, for In Vitro Diagnostic use.

Class 1 Laser Product.

* Seven and eight-color assays are for Research Use Only.