UBC has two CyTOF instruments, one based at the Biomedical Research Centre and the second at the BC Cancer Agency; both instruments are operated under the same support structure to allow collaboration and consistency.
For those new to the CyTOF, it is an instrument that bridges the gap between a cytometer and a mass spectrometer; it has the potential to analyse >40 parameter on a single cell basis using conventional antibodies that are conjugated to metals. A standard panel consists of 25 metals that are either available directly conjugated from DVSciences or through the Antibody Lab at UBC.
Currently we have mouse and human panels available and these are constantly expanding.
If you have an idea where ‘mass analysis’ would be useful, or a clinical application to screen patient samples, we would be happy to discuss the application and the design of the panel.
- The instrument would be calibrated and ready to use.
- Prepare cells at 500k cells/ml, ideally in 600ul aliquots.
- Inject 600ul onto the CyTOF and save the file for 10mins.
- Flush the system with 3mls of water.
- Add next sample…as simple as that.
The technical part is designing the panel, so when designing this we need to know the experimental markers vs reporter markers; then the density and frequency of the receptors. Whilst there is minimal cross talk between the metals, you need to be aware of the oxidation (+16 mass) that may contribute 1% background.