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Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting

Flow cytometry (FC) and cell sorting (CS) enables high throughput cell identification and sorting for a wide range of tissue and tumor types. The ability to automatically characterize or sort individual cells based on characteristics such as the combination of surface markers presented on each, has been instrumental for research and diagnosis of pediatric cancers.
Purpose for research

The Princess Máxima Center Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting core facility aims at ensuring state-of-the-art equipment, as well as providing expertise and support for research groups that require FC or CS. The facility’s close collaboration with the diagnostic laboratory provides a unique opportunity to seamlessly translate important discoveries to clinical care, including diagnosis improvement. In addition, by combining our expertise with that of other facilities in the Maxima center we ensure that the best strategy is chosen to answer research questions.

Services and support

The facility makes FC and CS technologies available to researchers of the Princess Máxima Center. Before making use of the equipment, the facility will discuss the requirements of the project, mutual expectations, and your experimental setup. We support in:

  • Answering technical questions like panel design (including training), sample preparation and sort settings.
  • Assistance in data acquisition, sorting and analyzing data.
  • Help in setting up and improving flow cytometry experiments.
  • Training on independent use of the facility’s (spectral) analyzers and sorters.

For external parties interested in accessing the facility, they are encouraged to reach out and contact the center for further information and potential collaboration opportunities.

Equipment overview

The facility is currently equipped with a spectral analyzer, conventional analyzers and cell sorters, including a.o:

  • Cytek Aurora – Spectral flow cytometer
  • BioRad ZE5 – High-end flow cytometer (5 lasers)
  • Cytoflex LX – High-end flow cytometer (6 lasers)
  • Cytoflex S – Conventional flow Cytometer (4 lasers)
  • Sony SH800s - Automated sorter
  • AstriosEQ - High-speed cell sorter (5 lasers)
'Characterization and sorting individual cells is instrumental for research and diagnosis of pediatric cancers.' Niels Groenen - Facility scientist
Niels Groenen
Tom O’Toole and Niels Groenen are the flow cytometrists who oversee the Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting facility within the Prinses Maxima Center. Their combined expertise in sorting and analysing (rare) cell populations from organoids, patient samples and biopsies, obtained directly from the clinic, allows them to quickly adapt the instruments to better analyze and isolate cells from any type of tissue. In this way, they contribute to accelerating and enriching the work of over 100 researchers that make use of the facility every year.


Contact details

The FC and CS facility is an independent facility available for the entire center and is embedded within the Van Leeuwen group. This facility is made financially possible by donations of Kika and the Máxima Center’s Foundation.


Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting