Flow Cytometry Core

BSCRC staff Jessica Scholes looking at a computer


The Flow Cytometry Core provides the UCLA research community with access to flow cytometry instrumentation, cell analysis and cell sorting services, and expert advice in support of individual experiments. 

The instruments use fluorescence-activated cell sorting, or FACS, technology, which enables users to analyze cell populations, isolate cells with special characteristics and characterize their biochemical, genomic and epigenetic properties. 

The core is located in the Terasaki Life Sciences Building, Room 3045.

Training & Scheduling

Prior to scheduling hands-on analysis training with a core operator, users are required to submit a training request form in PPMS and complete the following online courses:

Upload certificates of completion for these courses to PPMS with your training request.

Each lab member utilizing sorting and analysis services is required to review the BSCRC Flow Cytometry Core User Policies.

Sorting and analysis are scheduled through PPMS. Users are required to create a user account.

For assisted analysis, contact a flow cytometry operator directly to schedule an appointment. 

Appointments for all services can be booked no more than two months in advance. Large sort appointments are subject to core director approval.

Equipment & Services

Sorters (technician operated)

Aria (TLSB 3045A2)

The ARIA is a 5 laser, 18 fluorescence detector cell sorter. Cells can be sorted into up to 4 tubes simultaneously or directly into plates.


Aria H (TLSB 3045A2)

The ARIA-H is a 5 laser, 18 fluorescent parameter sorter. Cells can be sorted into up to 4 tubes simultaneously or directly into plates. This ARIA is inside of a biosafety cabinet.


Analyzers (user or technician operated)

Fortessa (TLSB 3045A1)

​​​​​The Fortessa is for analysis only and has five lasers with 16 fluorescence detectors.


​Celesta (TLSB 3045A1)

The Celesta is for analysis only and has 3 lasers with 12 fluorescence detectors. This instrument has a built-in high-throughput sampler plate adaptor.



The LSRII is for analysis only and has five lasers with 16 fluorescence detectors.



Product/Service Description


External Rate

Analysis (unassisted)

$63.38 per hour

$135.58 per hour

Analysis (assisted)

$91.35 per hour

$144.97 per hour

Sorting (assisted)

$99.73 per hour

$162.40 per hour

Training (initial session)

$297.21 per session

$471.67 per session

Training (supplemental)$104.11 per hour$165.22 per hour


1. What services does the core provide?

The FACS Core provides sorting, training, independent analysis and assisted analysis.

2. How much do these services cost?

Please see the pricing section of this page.

3. Are trained staff available to answer questions?

Yes, consultation is available for experimental design, analysis/interpretation and training on the analyzers. 

4. Will the FACS Core process my samples?

No, users are responsible for processing their own samples. 

5. What instruments are used for sorting?

BD ARIA with 5 lasers.

6. What is the difference between ARIA and ARIAH?

Both sorters have 5 lasers; ARIA H is inside a biosafety cabinet.

7. What instruments are used for flow cytometry analysis?

BD LSRII, BD Fortessa and BD Celesta.

8. What do I need to do before scheduling training for independent analysis?

Have the BSCRC FACS Core Agreement form signed by your Principal Investigator (PI). Complete the two required online courses: Intro to Flow Cytometry and BD FACSDiva v6 Software Overview. Submit forms of completion for these courses along with your training request in PPMS. See the scheduling and training section of this page for more information. 

9. Can I use the analyzers after hours and on weekends?

To access the analyzers after-hours, users must first receive training from the FACS Core staff to operate the analyzers and demonstrate the ability to properly start up, run and shutdown the instruments. 

10. How many populations can I sort simultaneously?

Up to 4 cell populations can be sorted simultaneously. 

11. Which instruments are capable of running plates?

The Celesta is capable of running 96 and 384 well plates. The Aria and AriaH can sort cells into multiwell plates (6 well up to 384 well). 

12. What is the cell concentration recommended for bringing the samples for sorting/analysis?

10 million cells/ml for 100 um nozzle, 20 million cells/ml for sorting with 70 um nozzle.

13. What type of filters should I use to filter my samples?

Cell suspensions must be passed through a 35 µm nylon mesh filter (BD catalog # 352235) right before sorting/analysis. Other filters available include, Partec CellTrics (10um, 20 um, 30um or 50 um) and BD Falcon Cell Strainers (40um, Falcon catalog # 352340).

14. What type of controls do I need to prepare?

Unstained and single-color controls are required for calculating compensation. Gating controls (FMO) are recommended.

15. Are you open to external customers?

Yes, please see our pricing section of this page to see external pricing. For more information, please contact the core at BSCRCFlowCore@mednet.ucla.edu