Sorter facility

Utrecht University Large-Particle Flow Cytometry Facility (UU-LPC)

The selection and purification of molecules, cells, tissues, and organisms of interest are critical yet often time-consuming aspects of biomedical research. Flow cytometers have revolutionized the sorting and analysis of large numbers of individual cells. However, many objects are too large or too sensitive for conventional flow cytometry. For this reason, Union Biometrica has developed large particle flow cytometers able to handle a wider range of object sizes (1 – 1500 µm).

The UU Large-Particle Flow Cytometry Facility provides the life sciences research community in the Netherlands with access to the latest model large particle flow cytometer: the BioSorter. The facility represents the first placement of a BioSorter in The Netherlands, and was established with financial support from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (Investment Grant NWO Medium), and from Utrecht University (Support Core Facilities, Life Sciences).

Examples of materials that can be analyzed and sorted with the BioSorter are combinatorial chemistry beads and particles, microcolonies of Aspergillus and filamentous bacteria, plant seeds, zebrafish embryos, C. elegans embryos and larvae, Drosophila embryos and imaginal disks, large cells, cell clusters, cultured organoids, and embryoid bodies.

The BioSorter flow cytometer is a continuous flow system capable of analyzing and sorting objects based on size, optical density, and fluorescence. Relative size and optical density are measured by a PIN photodiode. Fluorescence intensities can be simultaneously measured at three different wavelengths by three high-sensitivity PMTs. Sorting and dispensing decisions are based on user-selected ranges using the FlowPilot™ Pro software.

Facility equipment

The large-particle flow cytometry core provides sophisticated facilities for work with a broad range of cell culture and model organisms. These facilities allow preparation of samples that cannot readily be transported and need treatment on-site before or after analysis and sorting. Next to the BioSorter, we have a a Tissue Culture facilities, Tecan Robotics and Microscope support on the same floor.

Access and information

Fees will be applied to cover repairs and part replacements following the warranty period, to cover the materials used and to compensate for operator support. Users from the UU will be charged 20€ per hour. We will charge external users from academia 50 € per hour, and users from industry 100 € per hour. These amounts will be determined in part on total user time and exact terms can be discussed. Billing will be automated according to the booking information. No show after booking will be billed as a consequence of obstruction by use of other parties.

For more information and to arrange access to the facility, please contact dr. Ruben Schmidt ( Please note that the sorter is temporarily unavailable while a brand new and expanded sorter facility is being built (expected opening early 2022).