Cell Sorting Policies

Users of the Flow Cytometry Core Facility cell sorting services can choose from three available instruments. For help deciding which sorter to use, consult the following document: https://flowcytometry.cores.utah.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/whichsortertouse-11-25-19.pdf.

  • Appointments scheduled online within 24hrs of the actual appointment must be approved by facility staff via email or phone call. Do not schedule time at the last minute with no notification.
  • To make a reservation, please go to resource.cores.utah.edu. To get access to the schedule, users must fill out a work authorization form: https://workauth.cores.utah.edu/#/oncampus.
  • Using the online scheduler, please fill out the comments section with all relevant notes, including sort hazards, nozzle size, fluorophores, and if you’re sorting into 96-well plates.
  • If your sort requires the 70um, 100um, or 130um nozzle, you must reserve an additional 15min to allow time for changing the nozzle.
  • Be on time, especially if you have booked a short appointment. If needed, book a little extra time so you have some leeway with your sample prep.
  • If you are running late, please notify a staff member by phone at 581-8641 or flowcytometry@cores.utah.edu
  • To cancel an appointment, contact facility staff via email at flowcytometry@cores.utah.edu, by phone at 581-8641, or in-person as soon as possible.
  • Contact us prior to your first sort to make sure you bring everything you need.
  • Read our FAQ page prior to your appointment: 
  • Only trained users can operate the cell sorters. If you would like to be trained, please contact James Marvin at jmarvin@cores.utah.edu
  • Assisted sorting is from 9am to 6pm. If you want to come earlier or later, you need to discuss this with us in advance. If you routinely need after-hours sorting, consider getting trained for after-hour access.
  • Sometimes we block off an instrument for the entire day when we are short-staffed and don’t want scheduling conflicts. If you are trained for self-run sorting and would like to reserve during these times, please contact us and we will open the schedule for you.

General Policies and Rules of Conduct

The UoU Flow Cytometry Core Facility provides analytic flow cytometry and cell sorting services. Operational policies and procedures must be followed to allow smooth operation and fair access to the equipment for all investigators and to maintain equipment in proper working order. Key operational policies and rules are highlighted below. 

Appointment policy:

  • Appointments for all instrument usage must be scheduled.
  • Operator assistance is required for sorting unless the user has been trained by staff.
  • Cell sorting appointments require a minimum of 24hrs advance notice. To schedule within 24hrs, users must receive approval by a facility staff member.
  • Approved, trained users may make appointments for self-operation.

Appointment duration:

  • Cell sorters and the Fortessa analytic cytometer: minimum 30 minutes
  • Requesting the 70 um, 100 um, or 130 um nozzle requires scheduling an additional 15 minutes to your run time, so that facility staff can QC the instrument with the new nozzle
  • All other analytic cytometers: minimum 30 minutes
  • If the next user arrives at their scheduled time, you must relinquish the instrument to the scheduled user. (generally a civil discussion can accommodate both parties when conflicts arise.) 

Appointment cancellations:

  • Cancellations require users to notify facility staff as soon as possible. 
  • To cancel an appointment, contact facility staff via email at flowcytometry@cores.utah.edu, by phone at 581-8641, or in-person.
  • Users will be charged for their scheduled time unless they cancel 24hrs in advance. Same-day cancellations incur a charge unless their scheduled time is used by another researcher. 

Training sessions:

  • Training is provided by facility staff only; an experienced user from your lab cannot substitute this training requirement.
  • Training sessions are two hours long and will be charged at the assisted user rate. 
  • Users must supply a sample for training purposes.
  • The privilege to independently operate the cytometers will be granted at the discretion of James Marvin upon demonstration of competency.
  • Retraining will be scheduled, as needed, at the discretion of facility staff.

Billing policies:

  • A valid chartfield is required for all appointments. A work authorization form can be found here.

Violations and fines:

Using the flow core is a privilege that comes with responsibilities. Our researchers depend on each other to ensure that core policies are followed for instrument operations, scheduling, and cleaning. The core will enforce the policies as follows:

Minor Violations:

  • Not filling the sheath tank at the end of your appointment
  • Not emptying the waste at the end of your appointment
  • Excessive clogging due to poor sample quality and not filtering.
  • Not showing up for your scheduled appointment on the cytometer or sorter

1st offense: email warning to user

2nd offense: 1h usage penalty charge, plus an email warning to user and PI

3rd offense: 2h usage penalty charge and suspension of privileges until mandatory retraining is completed

4th offense: suspension of facility privileges. Privileges may be restored at the discretion of the facility director, James Marvin, upon an in-person meeting with the user and PI.

Major violations:

  • Running the sheath tank dry
  • Not scheduling appointment on the online scheduler
  • Leaving the cytometer running or leaving it on overnight
  • Not cleaning the cytometer and workstation after use
  • Not reporting an unresolved instrument clog or issue that occurred during your use of the cytometer

1st offense: 1h usage penalty charge, plus email warning to user and PI

2nd offense: 2h usage penalty charge and suspension of privileges until mandatory retraining is completed

3rd offense: suspension of facility privileges. Privileges may be restored at the discretion of the facility director, James Marvin, upon an in-person discussion with the user and PI.

Biohazard policy for analytic cytometers:

  • Users must wear gloves when using the analyzers and their associated computers. Propidium iodide and other potentially hazardous agents are used at the cytometers.
  • All waste must be disposed of in a biohazard bin.

Biohazard policy for cell sorters:

  • A Risk Assessment Form must be filled out and approved prior to cell sorting.
  • Users must follow the safety and operation procedures outlined in SOP 22.
  • All waste must be disposed of in a biohazard bin.

Decontamination and fluidics washing:

  • Proper decontamination and cleaning of the fluidics tubing and flow cell must follow each use of the cytometer.
  • Post-acquisition washing and cleaning procedures are considered normal run time and will be billed as part of the total appointment time.
  • All users will clean the fluidics according to the specific analyzer’s SOP.

Data backup:

  • Users are responsible for promptly saving and transferring their data from the analytical cytometers to the hard drive and subsequently to user devices.
  • Data files should be exported into the user’s folder in BDExport. 
  • After exporting, delete your files from FACSDiva.

Problems:

Users should promptly report instrument issues and other problems to:

A staff member at flowcytometry@cores.utah.edu or 581-8641

James Marvin at jmarvin@cores.utah.edu or 585-7382