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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Extrinsic Cell Characteristics

As each cell makes contact with the laser beam, the instrument determines intrinsic and extrinsic cellular properties. These extrinsic characteristics are reflected by the presence of a fluorescent signal emitted by monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs) that are bound to specific cellular antigens (CD markers) on the cell surface. The cell image below shows a cell stained with two different monoclonal antibodies, each with a different fluorochrome. Each fluorochrome will emit a different color when it intersects the laser.

The second image below is an example of a histogram display. It represents the monoclonal antibody for CD5 labeled with FITC dye. When this dye intersects a 488 nm argon ion laser beam, it emits a fluorescent signal in the green portion of the spectrum.