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Mass Cytometry

Fluidigm Helios

Fluidigm Helios

Mass Cytometry is a next-generation flow cytometry technology that enables highly dimensional functional and phenotypic profiling of single cells within heterogeneous populations.

Mass cytometers analyze cells labelled with antibodies (or other markers) conjugated to metals, rather than fluorochromes, in a mass spectroscopy-coupled flow cytometer, also known as a CyTOF (latest generation units are known as Helios). Metal-labelled single cells are introduced into an inductively-coupled plasma torch to generate an ion cloud that is then analyzed by time-of-flight mass spectroscopy, allowing the composition and abundance of cell-associated metal atoms to be ascertained.

The advantages of mass cytometry over traditional flow cytometry include the absence of background and that there is no need to correct for the spectral overlap of fluorophore emissions.

Our facility houses two third-generation Helios mass cytometers that can routinely analyze more than 40 markers per tube to provide an unprecedented "systems-level" view of phenotypic and functional variations among single cells within heterogeneous cell populations.

Mass cytometry is particularly useful for analysis of samples where cell numbers are limiting, and the ability to combine many markers into a single panel would allow a more unbiased and efficient approach for discovery of novel disease-associated cell populations or functional states. For these reasons, mass cytometry has emerged as the leading technology for high-content single-cell analysis in health and disease.

To learn more about our mass cytometry service, please contact Greg Chang


Name Helios
Location PGCRL Room 18-9430
Restricted use FMCF staff operated
Detection TOF ICP-MS
Mass Range 89-209 Dalton