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CyTOF Helios.jfif

Single Cell Proteomics 

Mass Cytometry (CyTOF)


Mass Cytometry is a combination of two technologies, flow cytometry and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, which allows deep profiling of translational and clinical research samples at single-cell level. Helios, a 3rd generation mass cytometer (CyTOF: Cytometry by Time -of-flight), is designed to detect heavy metal isotopes  rather than fluorochromes with minimal signal overlap between channels. Since Helios is designed to discriminate isotopes of different atomic weights and with over 135 detection channels, more than 40 cellular parameters can be detected and analysed simultaneously at single cell resolution in a single tube allowing the discovery of new cell types and biomarkers valuable in disease diagnosis, response to therapy and treatment. Mass cytometry can be used in a variety of research areas including immunology, immune-oncology, infectious diseases and vaccination. 

The Mass Cytometry Unit of the CNBPM is equipped with a Helios Mass Cytometer and provides support to research groups from clinics, academia, research institutes as well as small biotech companies and the pharma industry.


We provide complete cell profiling including phenotyping, functional activity, apoptosis and cell cycle analysis. 

List of antibodies available from Fluidigm


1.  Planning your assay:  CyTOF assays are run in PBMCs, whole blood and single cell suspensions from solid tissues and tumours. If you want to select single metal-conjugated antibodies design your own panel using the Maxpar panel designer (registration required) or contact us. 

2.  Collecting/processing your samples: 

  • Cell preparation protocols and staining protocols have to discussed with and to be approved by the CNBPM Mass cytometry Unit to achieve the best possible sample quality and avoid damage to the detector by contaminating metals.

  • Please follow the instructions provided by our Clinical Samples Reception & Processing Unit

  • PBMCs: Please use an optimized CRYOPRESERVATION PROTOCOL for viable PBMC. We recommend to freeze 10e7 cells per cryovial, and supply one cryovial for each of the above assays. PBMC processing and cryopreservation services are also available through our Clinical Samples Reception & Processing Unit on a cost recovery basis.

  • "Low quality" samples may cause clogging. In this case the user will be informed of the possible risk of a completely blocked nebulizer and/or sample capillary and can decide if the sample should be run anyway.

3.  Running your samples:  An online order is required before samples can be run. Turnaround time varies depending on the size of the project and the current workload; Usually projects can be completed within 3-4 weeks of order placement and sample delivery.

4.  Data analysis:  We provide a standard data analysis using SPADE or ViSNE using CytoBank.

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