Flow Cytometry: Come a Long Way, Much Left to Do

Oct 28, 2021
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Jenoptik Optical Systems LLC
About This Webinar
Flow cytometry is a ubiquitous technique used for diverse applications, including to perform basic research in cell biology, immunology, and oncology; to establish diagnoses and prognoses in hematology and organ transplantation; to monitor water quality in reservoirs; to verify the safety of milk supplies; and to perform bull sperm sex selection. Applications drive technology development, with requirements for "faster, better, cheaper" pushing the envelope of what can be done. For example, various advancements over the last 10 years, including the fine slicing of the visible spectrum, have helped to increase the practical number of simultaneously measurable cell parameters from about 15 to more than 30.

Basic bottlenecks remain, however, including large operating costs from expensive reagents; the increasing complexity of workflows; the time burden on users, operators, and core managers; and difficulties reproducing results across different labs. One new approach that is showing promise for solving many of these issues is time-resolved flow cytometry. Giacomo Vacca and his teams at Kinetic River have developed the ability to resolve fluorescence from different fluors with the same emission spectra, recorded simultaneously on the same detector. This is opening the door to solutions such as: eliminating the need for spectral compensation; automatically removing autofluorescence background from cell signals; more than doubling the number of measurable parameters; and even enabling label-free discrimination of cancer cells.

***This presentation premiered during the 2021 BioPhotonics Conference. For more information on Photonics Media conferences, visit 

About the presenter:
Giacomo VaccaGiacomo Vacca, Ph.D., earned bachelor's and master's degrees in physics from Harvard University and a doctorate degree in physics from Stanford University. For his dissertation, Vacca worked with Nobel Prize-winner Bob Laughlin to develop a novel ultrafast light-scattering technique. He has set up entire laboratories from scratch, started and led development programs, and generated intellectual property, with 102 patent applications and 61 patents issued to date. He has also led diverse interdisciplinary groups and managed intellectual property portfolios.

At Abbott Labs, Vacca invented and developed laser rastering, a radically innovative concept in flow cytometry that increased the rate of cell analysis by a factor of 30. In 2010, Vacca founded Kinetic River, a biophotonics design and product development company focused on flow cytometry. Since 2017, Kinetic River has been awarded four competitive Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), totaling about $2.2 million, to help develop innovative flow cytometry technologies. Kinetic River's customers include the National Cancer Institute at the NIH and Italy's National Research Council. In 2013, Vacca co-founded BeamWise, a provider of optical system design tools. He is a senior member of SPIE and Optica (formerly OSA) and a past Abbott Research Fellow.
flow cytometryBiophotonicscancerImaging
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