Jun 2, 2022
The Next Frontier: New BD Cell Sorter Will Provide Scientists Unprecedented Access to Insights into Health and Disease

Eric Diebold, WW VP of R&D, BD Biosciences

Innovation is the engine that drives the life sciences. And since the 1970s when BD first pioneered flow cytometry—which remains one of the most powerful tools for life scientists, allowing them to study cells to better understand changes linked to disease—BD has remained at the forefront, developing increasingly sophisticated and capable technologies that enable scientists to gain deeper insights that have led to new and more effective treatments for humanity.

The newest flow cytometry innovation from BD marks another leap forward in the field, ushering in the potential to transform immunology, cell biology and genomics research and the development of cell-based therapies. It also enables researchers to ask and answer an entirely new range of biological questions and perform experiments that were previously impossible.

So what makes the innovation so groundbreaking? The BD FACSDiscover™ S8 Cell Sorter with BD CellView™ Image Technology is the world's first cell sorter that enables scientists to perform high-parameter flow cytometry experiments while actually seeing images of individual cells in real time, and sort them, at high speed, using both conventional flow cytometry signals and microscopic images of each one.

You can think of it like this. You're looking for a friend inside a packed stadium. Using traditional flow cytometry would be like sorting through each person in attendance based on simple properties like, say, hair color. Spectral flow cytometry — the increasingly important and advanced approach that captures the full spectral profile to let scientists sort cells based on more parameters — would let you look at additional properties like, say, height and location. BD CellView™ Image Technology takes it to the next dimension. It lets you sort based on high-resolution snapshots of every single person, and the many physical features captured within those snapshots. And you could perform this at high speed, so you could find your friend, even in the largest stadium, within a matter of seconds.

By combining this breakthrough sort-capable imaging capability with advanced spectral flow cytometry, the BD FACSDiscover™ S8 Cell Sorter enables scientists to gain new and more accurate insights on cell populations and characteristics, visually confirm them in real time, as well as sort cells that could not even be identified before, all in a streamlined experimental workflow.

Bringing this remarkable technological achievement to life represents more than a decade of cross-functional collaboration and innovation. It would not be possible without the contributions of the incredibly talented teams working across all areas of flow cytometry innovation, including mechanical engineering, optical engineering, electrical engineering, software development and signal processing. Our partnership with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) was a profound collaboration between industry and academia -- helping us demonstrate the potential of the BD CellView Image Technology in use, as was highlighted recently on the cover of the journal Science.

With this new frontier in cell sorting unlocked, we look forward to seeing how the scientific community will leverage this innovation in shared pursuit of Advancing the World of Health.

The BD FACSDiscover™ S8 Cell Sorter will be introduced at this year's International Society for Advancement of Cytometry (ISAC) CYTO 2022 conference. More information is available through BD sales representatives and at bdbiosciences.com/s8


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