Training in cell sorting

How to become a power user

We occasionally provide 1:1 training in cell sorting to researchers falling into one of the following categories:

1) Projects involving a lot of cell sorts (1-2 x per week) for at least a couple of months.

2) Users who often need to sort outside of service hours (e.g. unexpected patient samples, which have to be processed immediately).

3) Technicians from research groups who are willing to handle all sorts of the whole research group.

All requests for cell sorter training have to be approved by the facility head. Please write to Claudia Dumrese and provide a brief overview about your project/lab situation, the anticipated number of sorts and what kind of samples you are going to sort.

Prerequisite for sorter training

We expect that you are able to operate an analyzer independently. This includes knowledge of the working principles underlying state of the art flow cytometers and a good understanding of the key parameters important for the optimization of a flow cytometry experiment.

In our experience, users with a good working knowledge of the FACS Diva software show a faster training progress. If you were trained on a different instrument, we highly recommend using one of our analyzers to make yourself familiar with the software before the start of the sorter training.

Training schedule

  1. Sorter training:
    You will learn all required steps to set-up and operate the Aria sorter independently. Usually, this requires three technical introduction sessions and is carried out in small groups to reduce costs.
    (Billed as operator based sorts)
    • Topics for sorter training:
      • Instrument start-up, cleaning and shutdown
      • Instrument setup and drop delay calibration
      • Experimental workflow
      • Sort optimization and quality control
      • Troubleshooting of common problems
      • Biosafety considerations
  2. First sort:
    After the technical introduction you will perform your first "independent" sort under full supervision of an experienced sort operator.
    (Billed as operator based sort)
  3. Power user in training phase:
    You will arrange sorting appointments that are partially supervised by facility staff. During the initial phase of the training the operator will help you with all questions that might arise during the sorter handling and help you improve your technical and experimental work flow. We will then successively reduce the operator presence to a stage where you will independently operate the instrument while an operator is only available for exceptional problems. Work flow optimization, technical trouble shooting and biosaftey considerations are addressed and re-iterated "on the job", whenever issues arise.
    The duration of this phase depends on your needs (usually approximately 10 appointments) and has to be carried out at our Irchel or Schlieren locations during service hours.
    (Billed with reduced costs as "power user in training")
  4. Trouble-shooting & Exam:
    In the last training session we will present you with a sorter, which is non-functional for multiple reasons. This session is intended to test and improve your trouble-shooting skills. We will assess your understanding of all sorting relevant topics to get an impression of your current training state.
    (Billed as operator based sort)
  5. Power User:
    After successful completion of the sorting exam you become an independent “Power User” including booking rights and 24-7 access to all facility sorters.

Note: The sorter training does not count towards your ECTS points. However, on request we can provide a confirmation of training.