UNIT 12.1 Comparative Overview of Flow and Image Cytometry

  1. J. Paul Robinson

Published Online: 1 FEB 2005

DOI: 10.1002/0471142956.cy1201s31

Current Protocols in Cytometry

Current Protocols in Cytometry

How to Cite

Robinson, J. P. 2005. Comparative Overview of Flow and Image Cytometry. Current Protocols in Cytometry. 31:12.1:12.1.1–12.1.11.

Author Information

  1. Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 FEB 2005
  2. Published Print: JAN 2005


This unit considers the issues of which tool to use—flow cytometry or imaging—and under what conditions. In particular, it compares the advantages and disadvantages of flow and image cytometry and provides examples illustrating the proper choice of each technology. The result is a better understanding of why the two technologies are complementary in many applications. It is clear that many scientists use the tools that are familiar to them, often in preference to the best tool. In cases where very advanced and rather expensive technologies are concerned, this is not surprising. However, there are clearly times when one form of cytometry is definitely superior to another. What then constitute the criteria for a decision when both flow cytometry and imaging are available? This unit addresses some of these concerns.


  • flow cytometry;
  • image cytometry;
  • fluorescence measurement