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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Introduction to Flow Cytometry: Blood Cell Identification. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Important Flow Cytometry Definitions

Cluster designation or cluster differentiation (CD): A group of antibodies that recognize the same antigen.

Fluorochrome (fluorophore): Fluorescent marker that is excited by light of one wavelength (generated by the laser of the flow cytometer) and emits light of a different wavelength (fluorescent light).

Gate: A boundary that is set up around a subset of data points to segregate those events for analysis, or to exclude other events from the analysis.

Immunofluorescence: Fluorescent expression of immune reactions between antigens and antibodies.

Monoclonal antibody (MoAb): An antibody that is produced from a single clone of cells and therefore has high purity and reproducibility. A monoclonal antibody that is used in flow cytometry is directed against a single antigen. For example, the CD2 MoAb will bind to the CD2 antigen on the cell surface of a T cell.