Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting Facility


Flow cytometry is the science of examining physical and chemical properties of live cells, beads or other biological particles as they pass in a fluid stream through a measuring apparatus. This apparatus, known as a flow cytometer, uses laser excitation and signal detection to measure parameters such as size, shape, DNA content, surface receptors, enzyme activity, membrane permeability and calcium flux. Some flow cytometers, called sorters, are equipped to separate and collect cells or beads of interest. High-performance flow cytometers and high-speed cell sorters have applications in cancer and HIV research, drug discovery, stem cell and gene therapy.

The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute Flow Cytometry Facility, located at the General Campus of the Ottawa Hospital, was established in 1998 and now includes three flow cytometers, two of which have sorting capabilities. We offer the sorting precision required for the isolation of rare cell populations with high purity and yield, up to 20 000 events per second. As well as sorting, flow cytometers allow the simultaneous analysis of a variety of light scatter and fluorescence parameters on single cells.

Please follow the Sample Submission Guidelines when using the Flow Cytometry Facility services.

Important Announcement

The facility will be opening again next week, Monday, June the 8th.

The reopening of the cell sorting facility to the users of the facility will follow the rules instated from the OHRI biosafety committee (Back to business rules).

The application of rules on how to use the facility will be constantly updated in contrast with the different reopening phases of the institute.

For that, these will be the current rules that the administrator and the researchers will have to follow in order to preserve the new biosafety standards and social distancing:

General Rules:

  • The hours of operation will remain the same. From 9:30 to 17:00.
  • The fees will remain the same. $85/hour.
  • The booking reservation system will remain the same. You can email me at fortiz@ohri.ca.
  • There will be NO after-hours service as stated from the back to business rules.
  • There will be NO SAME DAY BOOKINGS. Bookings need to be done minimum 24h in advance.
  • The users MUST provide a phone number to ease communication during the sort and for pick-up.
  • The user will have to fill in the "client sort information" form our website and send it to the administrator to ease communication and access to information of the experiment.

The users:

  • Will make reservations for cell sorting and flow cytometry by sending an email to the administrator (fortiz@ohri.ca) the same way it used to be. There will be a 30 min gap between reservations to facilitate the cleaning of the facility and avoid overlapping between researchers. Ex. If client 1 books from 10:00 to 12:00, the next client will have to book from 12:30 on.
  • Will be respectful and make the reservations limited to the time they require. The users can always contact the administrator if they are unsure of the time required for their experiments.
  • Will discuss with the administrator the experiments that they would like to perform prior to the appointment (min 24h in advance) to avoid close contact communication during the experiments. The users can send emails (fortiz@ohri.ca) or call the administrator at 613-737-8899 x.73916. To help with this, they can fill in the "client sort information form" at http://www.ohri.ca/FlowCytometry/Forms.aspx. MicroSoft OfficeTeams (or other online method) may be utilized to facilitate communication.
  • Will not access the facility. A drop off location will be at the entrance of the facility where the samples can the deposited and the administrator can pick them up. The users are not allowed to wait outside the facility during the experiments, they will be called when the experiment is about to finish for pick up. For University of Ottawa users, there will be a meeting point at the link between the hospital and the university where the users will give the samples to the administrator by appointment and meet for later pick up after the experiment.
  • Will provide all the materials required for the experiment, as usual, but will ensure the cleanliness of tubes, racks, buffers, etc. before pick up by the administrator.
  • Will follow all the rules instated by the OHRI biosafety committee (Back to business rules), especially sample transportation, PPE protection and moving through the institute.

The administrator:

  • Will make sure all surfaces and pick up locations are constantly cleaned and disinfected.
  • Will not be at the facility if no experiments are booked to avoid unnecessary exposure.
  • Will be always available by email (fortiz@ohri.ca) or by phone (613-737-8899 x.73916) when at the facility.
  • Results will be disseminated electronically or if final products are required for further analysis, these will be provided to the client at a pre-arranged time as above.
  • Consultation, discussion of results, or other verbal communication can be facilitated through Microsoft Office Teams.

Please make sure to follow the back to work rules of the OHRI, as the institution has instated that there will be zero tolerance for disregard of these new rules.

We will let you know the rules applied for the facility as the different phases continue.

For any other questions, please email me to fortiz@ohri.ca.

Welcome back.

Thank you and keep safe.