AAT Bioquest

What is fluorescent activated cell sorting (FACS)?

Posted May 18, 2020


Fluorescent Activated Cell Sorting, or FACS, is a method that utilizes flow cytometry to separate cells based on their specific intra- and extracellular properties that are tagged with fluorescent dyes. FACS has several systems work together to achieve successful sorting of events of interest, including fluidics, optics, and sorting system. It is currently the most common method of separating cells and involves encapsulating cells into small liquid droplets and selectively labeled with electric charges and sorted by an external electric field. A variety of fluorescent dyes are being used to design multi-color panels to achieve successful, simultaneous sorting of multiple, precisely defined cell-types.

Additional resources

Cell Meter™ VX450 fixable viability dye*

Cell Meter™ BX520 fixable viability dye

Leonard A Herzenberg, David Parks, Bita Sahaf, Omar Perez, Mario Roederer, Leonore A Herzenberg, The History and Future of the Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorter and Flow Cytometry: A View from Stanford, Clinical Chemistry, Volume 48, Issue 10, 1 October 2002, Pages 1819–1827, https://doi.org/10.1093/clinchem/48.10.1819