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Flow Cytometry

Flow cytometry is a highly sensitive, laser-based technology commonly employed in cell counting and biomarker detection. It works by suspending fluorescently-labeled cells in a stream of fluid and passing them by an electronic detection apparatus, allowing for the characterization of thousands of particles per second.

BioForm Solutions has developed and optimized flow cytometry-based assays for the quantification of probiotics and other microbial sample types. A similar ISO-certified method has been created by the dairy industry to test milk products for viability of six strains of probiotics important in the dairy industry.

Flow Cytometry is Superior to CFU-Plate Counting Methods

  • Allows for the discrimination and accurate quantification of live, injured and dead bacterial cells whereas CFU methods do not.
  • Detects individual bacteria whereas CFU methods may give an inaccurate count due to colonies being formed by an unknown number of cells.
  • Accurately quantifies spores as well as bacterial cells coated with a lipid or glycoprotein matrix commonly used with probiotics.
  • Measures viable but non-culturable (VBNC) bacteria which cannot grow on standard growth media.
  • Testing takes minutes vs. three days for CFU methods.
  • Low testing variability (CV < 10%).