Last updated on July 26, 2022 by
Who Is Cytek & How Do They Support Cell Analysis?
If your lab is looking for a flow cytometer, you can’t go wrong with Cytek Biosciences, Inc.
Cytek’s flow cytometry solutions incorporate spectral analysis into its workflow to generate data with a higher resolution and quality than ones created by a conventional flow cytometer.
Since its founding in 1990 by Dr. Wenbin Jiang, current CEO of Cytek Biosciences, Cytek Biosciences has grown to occupy over 20 countries across five continents. It’s currently headquartered in Fremont, California.
Want to discover more about the way Cytek is transforming cell analysis through its products? Keep reading to find out!
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Cytek’s Product Portfolio
Cytek Biosciences provides the biotechnology and life sciences research field with a powerful full-spectrum flow cytometry system equipped with innovative technologies.
Cytek has two main products: Cytek® Aurora and Cytek® Northern Lights. It also sells consumables, such as reagents and beads, optimized for use with your Cytek equipment.
The Cytek® Aurora uses up to five lasers, three scattering channels, and 64 detection channels to perform cell analysis. Whether the application is simple or complex, its flexibility, compact footprint, and instinctual optical design allow you to adjust the instrument’s configuration to suit your laboratory’s needs.
Cytek® Aurora’s lasers have different full-emission spectral signatures to allow a higher resolution. The data clarity can be improved further using the autofluorescence extraction provided by the software that comes with the Cytek® Aurora.
The excellent sensitivity of the Cytek® Aurora is influenced by various factors. These include the high-quality optical setup, low-noise electronics, and the CDWM (Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing) semiconductor detector arrays.
The Aurora also provides a productivity boost and flexibility for clinicians and scientists since you can alternate between fluorochrome combinations without manually changing the optical filters of your flow cytometer.
Ultimately, Cytek® Aurora gives you data-rich results with high resolution by using up to five lasers that provide 40 color spectrums, more than some flow cytometry analyzers currently on the market. The high-quality optics and low-noise electrical components, as well as the proprietary semiconductor detector, ensure excellent resolution and sensitivity for your experiments.
Cytek® Aurora CS
Still equipped with Cytek® Aurora’s best qualities, the Cytek® Aurora CS introduces a new function that makes it unique: sorting.
The added sorting functions include a variety of tubes and nozzles to help you select cells and condition them for assays. The predefined and custom modes allow you to be more efficient with your sorting process while still having control over your sample.
The Aurora CS features multi-way sorting that allows you to use up to 6 sort streams. It also features plate sorting, where you can sort into 96-well plates with index sorting capability. It lets you isolate cells into tubes or microtiter plates for downstream experiments such as proteomics, cell biology, and single-cell RNA sequencing.
The Cytek® Aurora CS uses the same range of panel complexities, so you can easily transfer assays between the Cytek® Aurora and Cytek® Aurora CS.
Cytek® Northern Lights
Cytek® Northern Lights is a comprehensive, full-spectrum flow cytometer that excels at simpler research needs. It’s a more affordable version of the Cytek® Aurora, equipped with up to three lasers capable of producing 9 to 21 colors and 30 fluorescence detectors.
For a lower price, you can enjoy many of the benefits of the Cytek® Aurora, such as the autofluorescence extraction and the intuitive SpectroFlo software that provides a smooth workflow for users. However, if you’re interested in investing in a fully comprehensive instrument that can handle more complex applications, then the Cytek® Aurora is most likely the right decision for you.
Additionally, there is also the Cytek™ NL-CLC, the clinical version of Cytek® Northern Lights. This version provides more clinical insights from a single tube and is more optimized for clinical use in terms of sample size and worker productivity.
Reagents and beads
The reagents and beads sold by Cytek are developed as a supplement to the full-spectrum flow cytometry solutions it provides. You can find a collection of these various cFluor™ reagents on Cytek’s website.
Beads, spare parts, and subscription-based service plans are also available and are designed to maintain your flow cytometer so that you can avoid any instrument downtime.
Applications with Cytek
Considering its high resolution and sensitivity, Cytek’s full-spectrum flow cytometer is suitable for use in many research fields. For now, let’s discuss the role of Cytek’s flow cytometry systems for research purposes and workflows.
- Immuno-oncology: Full-spectrum flow cytometry is highly useful in immuno-oncology research and the development of immunotherapy methods. In combination with the right reagents, Cytek’s range of flow cytometers can be used to generate more complete and complex information about the immune system’s role in cancer. Immunotherapy attempts to incite the body’s immune system to attack cancerous cells and is seen as a universal answer to many cancers, as the list of cancers currently treated using the therapy is extensive.
Full-spectrum flow cytometry has been regularly used to assist in both preclinical and clinical cancer studies to identify and characterize the cancerous cells and immune systems involved.
- Infectious Diseases: The battle against infectious diseases is an ongoing one. As we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced millions all over the globe to adapt to a new way of life filled with ever-changing health protocols, understanding how our immune system reacts to the virus is a critical step in finding a cure, which is just one way researchers are using the Cytek® Aurora.
- Inflammatory Diseases: Inflammatory diseases happen when the immune system that’s supposed to attack foreign objects in your body malfunctions and attacks healthy cells and tissue instead.
Cures for autoimmune diseases are still a mystery for the most part, which makes research into the treatment of this phenomenon so important. The research into inflammatory diseases track changes, note discoveries, and analyze the responses of a healthy immune system and a compromised one to develop treatments.
Flow cytometers are used to compare the characteristics and phenotypes of cells and discover more effective treatments.
- Drug Discovery: To ensure that precious patient samples are analyzed correctly and efficiently during drug discovery, spectral flow cytometry is often employed. Cytek’s range of flow cytometers is designed for high-throughput screening, as speed is an important aspect of drug discovery in the pharmaceutical industry. Rapid screening maximizes the efficiency of the drug development process and allows companies to focus more resources on product development faster.
The types of assays needed also depend on the mechanism of the drug and the purpose of the test you’re doing, so having equipment that can complete a range of drug screening assays will help your laboratory in the long run. Various Cytek flow cytometry solutions have been used to assist drug discovery, especially in the screening process.
- Genomics: Sequencing is used for a variety of applications. Immunoprofiling, for instance, can be done using gene sequencing. However, this process takes a few days and more resources compared to using a Cytek flow cytometer, which can provide results within a few hours.
Another use case of Cytek’s full-spectrum cytometry equipment, specifically the Cytek® Aurora CS, is the studying of gene samples for gene expression characteristics. Studying gene expression for a single cell type, in particular, is harder since the platform needs to pick a cell to isolate within nanoseconds and precisely target the cell.
Cytek’s recent addition, the Cytek® Aurora CS is capable of this feat since it’s equipped with a sorting function that helps you accurately isolate a single cell to analyze.
- Immunoprofiling: Understanding how a disease affects your cells and immune system is an important process for various applications. Immunoprofiling is used in developing drugs and vaccines, as well as biomarker discovery for cancer patients, among other things.
Full-spectrum flow cytometry is continuously adapted to help with immunoprofiling, as the growing parameters provide deeper insights into a patient’s immune system. Cytek’s full-spectrum flow cytometry allows you to analyze 40 colors in a panel and maximizes the amount of information you can get from a limited sample.
- Multi-site Standardization: Whether you’re evaluating a new drug or collaborating with others, having reproducible assay results is a must. Cytek ensures that you’re using the same assay configurations across multiple sites using templates.
Cytek lets you create assay templates, share them, and use them across Cytek instruments at other locations to ensure that you’re using an identical testing configuration and improve the reliability of the reproduced data.
This also saves you from having to manually configure the cytometer yourself and expose the test to human error.
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