Caltech Flow Cytometry Facility
020 Kerckhoff | 626.395.3998
Policies and Rates
The facility's user community has grown to the point where many users are forced to wait weeks or even a month before being able to schedule runs of their samples, given the limits to the equipment we operate and the limits of the staffing. At the same time, we face a concerted demand by the Divisional administration to make the facility self-supporting without further subsidy from the Biology Division. This combination of circumstances has forced us to change some policies for the facility and to make other policies explicit.
- Use of the sorting facility is by appointment only. It is important that experiments are planned carefully. This includes confirming that the fluorescent labels and their combinations can be analyzed on the instrumentation we have available in the Core facility. If you have never used the Core facility, or before you are planning a novel experiment, please contact Rochelle Diamond, the applications specialist of the flow cytometry Core facility at 626-395-3998 or 4947. She will be able to consult with you on experimental design and the availability of equipment and discuss the potential of the cytometric experiments with you.
- Cell sorting facility requires that Biosafety Questionnaire be filled out and approved prior to any performing any experiments or using any equipment in the facility. This form is available via this link.
- Good communication with the cell sorter operator is essential for the success of your experiments. When making an appointment please discuss the specific details of your experiment with the cell sorting facility so an accurate estimate can be made as to how long the sort or sample acquisition will take. Be aware that certain assumptions about cell subset percentages and enrichments may not be optimal the first time that you attempt a cell sorting experiment. For this reason it may not be possible to finish a sort in a "reasonable" amount of time.
- If you have to cancel your appointment for any reason at any time you will be charged for two hours unless you notify the facility 24 hours in advance. If you fail to notify us of cancellation altogether, we will have to charge you for all your allocated time, because other users cannot be scheduled in that time.
- Please be punctual. If you are late for an appointment you will be charged for all late time. If you are over half an hour late, the experiment may not be able to be finished in order to accommodate the next user. To avoid charges, notify the facility of planned changes in the scope of an experiment and the time needed at least 24 hr in advance.
- We will reserve time for you on the instrument according to the number of tubes or the complexity of the experiment. If the experiment is finished in significantly less time than was reserved, you may be charged for up to the whole reserved time, to the extent that other clients were prevented from using the facility.
A PTA number for recharge must be provided the Core facility before the start of the first experiment. Should that number for recharge change it must be provided to the facility.
Standard charges are as follows:
- Cytometer set-up and sterilization (typically 60 minutes).
- Late time.
- Actual sort time or sample acquisition time.
- Post-sort analysis (typically between five and fifteen minutes).
The basic rate for the sorters, effective 10-1-12, is $99/hr. The basic rate for the analyzers is $55/hr. Operator-assisted Caliber rate is $99/hr. Training class is $99/hr or $540 for the day.
- Any consultation about experiments or data with the Core staff must be scheduled ahead of time.
- Due to the facts that cell sorting generates aerosols and the cells are generally not submitted in any fixative, the biohazard risks are much greater than in analytic flow cytometry. It is therefore imperative to discuss any and all biohazard issues with the sorter operator. Failure to do so may result in denial of further use of the cell sorting facility. We are not equipped at this time to perform sorts on infected/infectious samples. Human samples may be sorted provided that they are fixed in appropriate fixative.
- Please provide us with a short description of each of your research projects. This is essential for our report generation which is required for continued future funding of the facility.
- To minimize interference with other experiments that are also conducted at the same time in the laboratory, the number of people that can be present from each user laboratory is limited to two, except by specific pre-arrangement with the facility staff.