Laser counting cells

Laser counting cells

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Credit: JAMES KING-HOLMES/CELLTECH R&D LTD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Counting cells. Argon laser (centre) being used to count and sort a stream of cells. This is a laser- feedback controlled system. The counting of cells is called cytometry. Flow cytometry characterizes single cells as they pass at high speed through a laser beam. Speeds of up to 50,000 cells a second can be measured. The scattering of the laser beam provides a way to identify the cells. Many other characteristics, such as shape and surface texture can also be measured. The cells are then sorted as electrically-charged droplets. This also purifies the samples. Photographed in a Celltech research laboratory, UK.

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