AAT Bioquest

What is cell sorting in flow cytometry?

Posted May 18, 2020


Cell sorting is a method to separate cell populations based on the presence or absence of specific physical characteristics, such as cell size, morphology (shape) and surface protein expression.

There are three major methods used for cell sorting: single cell sorting, fluorescent activated cell sorting, and magnetic activated cell sorting. The most commonly used methods are, FACS (fluorescent activated cell sorting) and MACS (magnetic activated cell sorting).

Additional resources

Cell Meter™ VX450 fixable viability dye*

Cell Meter™ BX520 fixable viability dye

Mattanovich, D., & Borth, N. Applications of cell sorting in biotechnology (2006). Microbial Cell Factories, 5(1), 12. doi:10.1186/1475-2859-5-12