Recent advances in flow cytometric cell sorting.
The classification and separation of one cell type or particle from others is a fundamental task in many areas of science. Numerous techniques are available to perform this task; however, electrostatic cell sorting has gained eminence over others because, when combined with the analysis capabilities of flow cytometry it provides flexible separations based on multiple parameters. Unlike competing technologies, such as gradient or magnetic separations that offer much larger total throughput, flow cytometric cell sorting permits selections based on various levels of fluorescent reporters, rather the complete presence or absence of the reporter. As such, this technology has found application in a huge range of fields. This chapter aims to describe the utility of single-cell sorting with particular emphasis given to index sorting. This is followed by two recently developed novel techniques of sorting cells or particles. The first of these is positional sorting which is useful in cell-based studies where sorting can proceed and produce meaningful results without being inherently dependant on prior knowledge of where gates should be set. Secondly, reflective plate sorting is introduced which positionally links multiwell sample and collection plates in a convenient assay format so that cells in the collection plate "reflect" those in the sample plate. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.