FACS Core Unit

Background

The “FACS Core Unit” is headed by René Geyeregger.

Most of our work consists of doing diagnostics and providing flow cytometric cell analyses and cell sorting services, primarily to the St. Anna Children’s Hospital, but also to other labs at the Children’s Cancer Research Institute (CCRI) as well as to external research institutes.

The Core Unit presently has at its disposal four flow cytometers for 18 to 30 parameter cell measurements, one of which is a multi-color device for cell sorting and one of which is for diagnostic analyzes only:

  • LSR Fortessa equipped with BD HTS-loader for plates: 4 lasers, 20 parameters
  • FACSAriaFusion: 4 lasers, 18 parameters (four-way tube sorting and plate sorting)
  • FACSSymphony: 5 lasers, 30 parameters
  • FACSLyric: 3 lasers, 14 parameters (for diagnostic)

All devices are serviced by experienced technicians. In close cooperation with clinicians, St. Anna researchers, and other scientists, the FACS Core Unit offers practical and theoretical support for all questions regarding flow cytometry data acquisition and analyses (FCS-Express and FlowJo).

Diagnostics

  • Diagnostic applications include detailed quantitative phenotypic analyses of leukocytes (granulocytes, eosino- and basophils, normocytes, monocytes, T-cell subsets (alpha/beta, gamma/delta, CD4+, CD8+, CD38+, and HLA-DR + T-cells), NK-cells, CD34+ stem cells (myeloid and B-cell precursor) and B-cells from peripheral blood, bone marrow but also liquor and bronchoalveolar lavage samples.  
  • Enumeration of CD34+ stem cells, CD3+ T-cells, CD19+ B-cells, and residual leukocytes are analyzed via a quantitative single-platform method.
  • Furthermore, we perform flow cytometric analyses to assist diagnosis of hereditary spherocytosis.
  • Every year, approximately 2500 cytometric cell analyses and more than 1,000 cell sorts are carried out, the main purpose of these being to control the donor/recipient type of the different blood cells using FISH or PCR methods in post allo-transplantation patients.
  • Extensive internal quality control mechanisms are in place, which conform to internal standard operating procedures (SOPs). In addition, we participate in regular Austrian and German quality control trials, organized by ÖQUASTA (Austrian Society for Quality Assurance and Standardization of Medical-Diagnostics) and INSTAND (Society for Promotion of Quality Assurance in Medical Laboratories) focusing on subtypes of blood leukocytes, stem cells, and residual leukocytes in blood products.
  • In addition, we also detect ADV-, CMV-, EBV- and BKV-specific T-cells via an in-house developed interferon-gamma ELISPOT assay. We also contribute to an international T-cell ELISPOT proficiency panel to evaluate and compare our immune monitoring performance with laboratories worldwide.

Collaborating Partners

The FACS Core Unit provides diagnostics and cytometric cell analyses and cell sorting services, primarily to the St. Anna Children’s Hospital, but also to other labs at the Children’s Cancer Research Institute (CCRI) as well as to external research institutes.

Team

René Geyeregger
Principal Investigator, Head of FACS Core Unit
Laura Domnanovich
Technician FACS Core Unit
Dieter Printz
Technician FACS Core Unit