University of Heidelberg

ZMBH - Central Services - Flow Cytometry & FACS Core Facility

Welcome to the Facility

Flow Cytometry and FACS (fluorescence activated cell sorting) represent fast and reliable methods for characterizing and isolating certain cell subpopulations based on fluorescent labeling, and can be applied to a great variety of organisms and cell types, including both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

The facility is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation and offers the possibility of flow cytometric cell analysis and cell sorting to members of the SFB 638, the DKFZ-ZMBH Alliance, as well as to any other research group on the campus. We also welcome projects from non-campus scientists.

Analytical measurements can be done either on a 3-laser BD FACSCanto II flow cytometer or a 3-laser BD FACSCanto RUO Special Order System. Optionally a high-throughput sampler for plate-based acquisition and a tube loader carousel are available. Cell sorting is performed on a 4-laser BD FACSAria IIIu. Please scroll down for further instrument details.

The Flow Cytometry & FACS Core Facility is jointly supported by the ZMBH and the SFB 638 (Dynamics of Macromolecular Complexes in Biosynthetic Transport). Additional financial support was provided by Cell Networks, HMLS, SFB 1036 and the GK 1188. Moreover, different research groups contributed to the present equipment with instruments, upgrades and know how: Nickel lab, Melchior lab, Edgar lab, and Knop lab. Dr. Monika Langlotz runs the facility as professional operator and head of facility together with Prof. Dr. Michael Knop as the responsible PI.

Access to Instruments and Training

The facility is managed by Dr. Langlotz, who offers individual introductory tutorials to flow cytometry and the use of the analytical instruments, as well as support and aid in all questions concerning flow cytometry as a method. More intense tutorials and short courses on different subjects related to flow cytometry are offered upon request. Users, who have received the necessary training, can autonomously operate the analyzers. Dr. Langlotz exclusively operates the cell sorter. Access to instruments is granted through an online booking system for registered users.

If you plan to use flow cytometry, please contact us by e-mail (, phone (06221 546843) or simply come and see us. We are located on the 3rd floor at the ZMBH, INF 282.



Flow Cytometers
The BD FACSCanto II flow cytometer has 3 lasers for excitation (405/488/633 nm) and detects forward scatter (FSC), side scatter (SSC), and up to 8 different fluorescence signals. In addition to manual tube loading FACSCanto II has a tube loader for automatic acquisition from up to 40 sample tubes.
The BD FACSCanto RUO Special Order System has 3 excitation wavelengths (405/488/561 nm) and detectors for FSC, SSC, and 8 fluorescent colors. The cytometer is equipped with a high-throughput sampler for plate-based acquisition (96- or 384-well plate formats). Manual tube loading is also possible.

The BD FACSAria IIIu cell sorter offers simultaneous excitation by 4 different lasers (407/488/561/633 nm) and can detect FSC, SSC, and up to 11 fluorescent colors. Cells can be collected into tubes or multiwell-plates.

Flow Cytometry Software
The facility offers a separate workstation with common flow cytometry software for data analysis. Furthermore it is possible to borrow a software dongle from the facility (e.g. BD FACSDiva, Tree Star FlowJo).


Dr. Monika Langlotz
06221 - 54 6843


Flow Cytometry & FACS Core Facility
Room 340 (3rd floor)
Im Neuenheimer Feld 282
69120 Heidelberg


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