22 GHP / Q1 2018 , Five Fundamentals of Cell Sorting Cell sorting can be done by any researcher, but many scientists workwith contract research organizations that have expertise optimizing protocols for different yields or levels of purity. Nazmun Jelon talks us through the five key points to keep inmind. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting is a powerful tool for basic and clinical research because individual cells can be separated from a heterogeneous sample and used for downstream analysis or therapeutic applications. A fluorescent activated cell sorter works in a similar way as a flow cytometer. A single-cell suspension of fluorescently labeled cells pass through a fluidic system, and lasers excite the fluorescent molecules, which causes a change in the charge of the droplet containing the cell. This shift in charge is used to divert each droplet into a collection tube so relatively pure cell populations can be collected. Cell sorting can be done by any researcher, but many scientists work with contract research organizations that have expertise optimizing protocols for different yields or levels of purity. Consider these five fundamentals of cell sorting as you plan or coordinate your next research project. 1. How many cells in and out? Consider how many cells you want to include in your pre- sort sample because this will determine how long your sort will take and how many cells you will collect. More cells in the starting sample can lead to greater yields but can take longer to sort.