Montana State University Flow Core Facility is located in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and is supported with funding from COBRE and departmental funds. The core provides services for both analysis and cell sorting. This facility houses two FACSCaliburs, one LSR II,  one LSRFortessa, one FACAria,  one Stratedigm SE520EON, one BD Cytoflex and one ImageStream Mark II Imaging flow cytometer. The FACSCaliburs have a dual laser system (488 argon and 635 diode) that read 4 colors. One is equipped with  a BD High Throughput Sample for reading multiwell plates. The LSR II is a 3 laser system, 488 solid state, 633 HeNe and 405nm Violet with the ability to read 11 colors. The Canto is a RUOSpecial Order System with dual laser, 488 air-cooled 20mW solid state, and a 633, 17mw HeNe with the ability to read 6 colors. The LSRFortessa houses 5 lasers, 355 UV 405 Violet, 488 Blue, 561 Yellow-Green, and 640 Red, with the ability to read 17 colors. The FACSAria is a 3 laser system, 488, 13 -20 mW, a 633, 10-20mW,  and a 561nm, 10 mW, with the ability to read 8 colors. The BD Accuri C6 is a 2 laser system, 488nm  and 640nm. The ImageStream Mark II  has a 483-493nm, 200 mW  laser and a 635-647, 150mW laser.

Detailed  laser/detector configurations for each cytometer is listed may be found at  Select Montana State University

Software for BD Biosciences cytometers include CELLQuest and FACSDiva.  The ImageStream system  consists of INSPIRE and IDEAS software applications. The BD Accuri uses C6 software. The facility also provides FlowJo and Modfit LT

Cell sorting is provided by the facility personnel. All other cytometers are designed for unassisted use after proper training. The FACS Flow Core Facility provides independent use of the flow cytometers, excluding the cell sorter.


Location for the LSRFortessa and FACSCalibur is Cooley Hall, room 29.

Location for all other cytometers is the Heath Sciences Building, 2155 Analysis Drive, room 247 and  241 (ImageStream).

Maria Jerome 406-994-7495 [email protected]



Cost For Use 


BD Cytoflex


Flow Cytometry uses a combined system of fluidics, optics and electronic detectors to measure characteristics of particles. Particles, like cells, flow in sheath fluid via hydrodynamic focusing to produce a single file of cells. This single cell stream passes through one or more laser beams producing scattered light and emitted fluorescent light. The light scattered at 20ᵒ  and 90ᵒ is collected in appropriate detectors to identify the cell size and cell granular complexity, respectively. Cells can be stained with fluorescent-labeled antibodies or molecules to give qualitative and quantitative data about the cells. Each unique fluorescent molecules emitted light is captured in its appropriate detector. The detectors, which are photodiodes and photomultiplier tubes, (PMT's), convert the light into electronic signals. The electronic signals are processed by software programs for data analysis.


Flow Cytometer Diagram