User Eligibility

Faculty, staff, and students of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s research community are permitted to use the Flow Cytometry Facility. Prior to independent use of any of the cytometers every user is required to attend an in-service training session with one of the core facility staff.

Scheduling Appointments

Flow Cytometry

Flow Cytometry sessions on any of the analytical cytometers are scheduled on a first come first serve basis by signing up via the Flow Cytometry core service request link. Access to the eCores reservation system is predicated upon completion of the required initial training session for all new cytometer users. In addition you must have an eCores account in order to access the reservation system. All cytometers are available to investigators 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. Once the required training session has been completed new users will be provided with a user name and password in order to use the cytometers. Please be on time for appointments and do not schedule more time than what is reasonably necessary to run samples. Run times vary depending on the experiment; however, 60-90 seconds per tube is generally a good estimate for the amount of time to schedule. In the event that you won’t use your scheduled time please make every effort to cancel your reservation such that other users may use the machine. Users that habitually fail to notify the facility of cancellations will be given a written warning. If the problem persists, the investigator will be charged for unused appointments.


Cell sorting is performed by core personnel. All sorts require completion of a Sorter Sample Questionnaire, Sort Protocol Questionnaire and demonstration of a sortable population via FACS analysis prior to scheduling the sort. To make an appointment for cell sorting please contact us via phone or e-mail to set up a time. Please respect the time of the core personnel and other investigators by having your Properly Prepared Samples ready to go at the scheduled time. As with the cytometers, users that habitually fail to inform the staff of cancellations will be charged for unused appointments. Note that all sorts will incur one additional hour of charges for set-up time.

Charge for Services

The Flow Cytometry Core does not operate for profit. Users are charged for actual usage time in five minute increments with a minimum 15 minute charge. Charges vary depending upon the machine used and whether or not the principal investigator is on staff at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s. All cytometers have a log-in procedure from which usage is calculated so be aware that once logged in charges are accruing. Turning the machines on and running Quality Control acquisitions does not require individual investigator log-in so charges are not accrued for these periods of time. Listed below is the current menu of charges for each application.


BD LSR II analyzers

  • 3 and 4 laser configurations
  • Up to 18 parameters
$44.00 Hourly

FACSVantage II DiVa cell sorter

  • 3 laser configuration
  • Up to 8 parameters
$66.00 Hourly

BDInflux cell sorter

  • 5 laser configuration
  • Up to 19 parameters
$66.00 Hourly

Bio-Plex multiplex system

  • Up to 100 analytes
$30.00 Per use
Wallac 1420 plate reader No charge Per use

Computer Workstation

  • FlowJo
  • Microsoft Office
  • Nationwide Children's Hospital server access
No charge Per use

Nanosight NS300

  • 2 laser configuration
$44.00 Hourly

Fluidigm C1

Cell capture-to-cDNA
$551 (user provides IFC)

Capture only
$135 (user provides IFC)

Per use

Operator supported data acquisition

  • User must supply ready-to-run samples
$75.00 (instrumentation charge included) Hourly


  • Panel design
  • Data analysis
  • Figure preparation or formatting
  • Scientific writing
$50.00 Hourly

User Support

  • Training
  • Flow Cytometry education
  • Technical assistance
  • Troubleshooting and moral support
No charge Per use

*If you are not affiliated with Nationwide Children's Hospital, please inquire about external pricing/rates.

Data Analysis

The Flow Cytometry Core supports the use of Flow Jo analysis software for analyzing flow cytometry data. Flow Jo analysis software is available for download to users computers from RIS for both MAC and PC platforms. The use of a Flow Jo dongle USB license key is required in order to be able to run the program. The core has provided various centers throughout the institution with the required dongles. These dongles are to be shared by investigators within their center. In addition, investigators can check out a dongle from the Flow Core’s supply of loaner dongles on a short term basis in order to do their analyses. Individual users or labs can acquire their own dongles from Flow Jo as well, should they wish. Web based tutorials in addition to printed materials are available in order to learn how to use this data analysis software. Contact RIS to have the latest version of Flow Jo loaded onto your computer.

Data Management

Investigators are ultimately responsible for their own data. Investigators should immediately export their raw data files via the network to their preferred network drive at the conclusion of their experiment. While FCS (Flow Cytometry Standard) files are stored in the DIVA program on the cytometers this is a short term proposition. It is highly recommended that investigators make it a routine practice to export their data at the end of each session so as to avoid any data loss due to a crashed computer etc. The use of USB drives to transfer data from the cytometer computers is strictly forbidden in order to minimize the possibility of viral infections.

Although it is the responsibility of each investigator to handle their own data management, flow cytometry data generated at the flow core facility is archived by facility personnel on a regular basis. Archived data can be retrieved upon request when investigators provide dates and descriptions of individual samples, and identify which flow cytometer was used for acquisition, however this should be a rarely used service if you are managing your own data as noted above. Data from each cytometer is generally archived on a quarterly or biannual basis depending primarily upon individual computer hard drive space and performance. Once data has been archived all archived files are deleted from the hard drive of the cytometer computers. Remember, your data is your responsibility!