Flow (cells flowing in fluid) cyto (cell) metry (measurement)

In flow cytometry, a suspension of single cells is labelled with antibodies against various surface or intracelluar targets. These antibodies are conjugated to fluorescent molecules (fluorophores) which, when excited by a laser, emit light that is captured by a fluorescence detector. The use of multiple lasers and detectors allow us to label cells with up to 26 individual fluorophore conjugated antibodies.