Supercontinuum white light lasers for flow cytometry

William G. Telford, Fedor V. Subach, Vladislav V. Verkhusha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Excitation of fluorescent probes for flow cytometry has traditionally been limited to a few discrete laser lines, an inherent limitation in our ability to excite the vast array of fluorescent probes available for cellular analysis. In this report, we have used a supercontinuum (SC) white light laser as an excitation source for flow cytometry. By selectively filtering the wavelength of interest, almost any laser wavelength in the visible spectrum can be separated and used for flow cytometric analysis. The white light lasers used in this study were integrated into a commercial flow cytometry platform, and a series of high-transmission bandpass filters used to select wavelength ranges from the blue (∼480 nm) to the long red (>700 nm). Cells labeled with a variety of fluorescent probes or expressing fluorescent proteins were then analyzed, in comparison with traditional lasers emitting at wavelengths similar to the filtered SC source. Based on a standard sensitivity metric, the white light laser bandwidths produced similar excitation levels to traditional lasers for a wide variety of fluorescent probes and expressible proteins. Sensitivity assessment using fluorescent bead arrays confirmed that the SC laser and traditional sources resulted in similar levels of detection sensitivity. Supercontinuum white light laser sources therefore have the potential to remove a significant barrier in flow cytometric analysis, namely the limitation of excitation wavelengths. Almost any visible wavelength range can be made available for excitation, allowing access to virtually any fluorescent probe, and permitting "fine-tuning" of excitation wavelength to particular probes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-459
Number of pages10
JournalCytometry Part A
Volume75
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2009

Keywords

  • DsRed
  • Flow cytometry
  • Fluorescent protein
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Katushka
  • Supercontinuum
  • White light laser
  • mCherry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology

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