The COPAS and BioSorter platforms are based on the basic principles of flow cytometry, however, they differ from traditional flow cytometers in two important design areas:
These engineering design features permit larger objects such as multicellular organisms, small seeds, large cellular aggregates and bead based libraries to be analyzed and dispensed using a COPAS or BioSorter system. These instruments are also much faster than traditional bead pickers because samples are handled as a continuously flowing stream rather than one-at-a-time.
Objects flow from a continuously mixed sample cup to a pre-analysis chamber, where the sample is surrounded by a “sheath” solution to produce a stabilized laminar flow and focus the objects of interest in the center of the flow stream. Objects then pass through the flow cell where four optical parameters are measured for each organism.