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Cell Analysis Guidelines

General Rules

The FACS Core Facility (FCF) Analyzer Room is located in the Biozentrum on the 10th floor in the room 10.044, on Quadrant 2. The laboratory is approved at Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2). Therefore, correct PPE must be worn and proper containment procedures must be used.

For a new project it is recommended to contact the FCF staff in order to identify the correct flow cytometer depending on the application and fluorophore combination.

An account creation request can be send via PPMS. Afterwards a training request for the flow cytometer of choice can be filled out. If the user has already a PPMS account, a training request can be made directly after login. Training and orientation is provided only by facility staff. New users need to take a basic hands-on training on the relevant flow cytometer. Afterwards they can book the first 2 sessions only during working hours (Mon-Fri, 9am-17pm). It is not sufficient to be trained by an experienced lab member. However, it is ok when a not yet registered user assists during the measurement under the continuous supervision of a registered user. The FCF can be contacted if additional training, assistance or consulting sessions are needed. The FCF is a service unit providing access to a broad range of expensive and sensitive instruments. Failure to adhere to the guidelines and rules can result in restricted or suspended access to all FCF equipment.

Booking and Billing
The instruments can be booked 21 days in advance. It isn’t allowed to use the instruments without reserving it before the usage. During daily working hours (9am-5pm), the instruments can be maximally booked for six hours per day. During evening/night hours and weekends, the booking time is not limited. If a user needs more time on an instrument or needs to plan the booking more time in advance, this can be arranged after discussion with the staff.

Fees will apply for the instrument usage, which are calculated based on the reserved time on the online calendar:

  • Inhouse members: CHF 15/h during working hours Mon-Fri (9am-5pm)
  • Unibas members: CHF 20/h during working hours Mon-Fri (9am-5pm)
  • Inhouse and Unibas members: CHF 10/h for night and weekend hours
  • Companies: usage and prices upon request and availability

Users must cancel their reservations 12 hours in advance of their scheduled appointment to avoid being charged for the entire time scheduled. If there is a cancellation due to unexpected experimental issues within 12 hours of the reservation, the user may notify the staff and ask to have the reservation to be removed and the fee waived. If the user deletes a slot and books a new slot on the same day, this is handled as shifting of the reserved slot and thus no fee is applied for the deleted slot.

Switching the instrument on and off
The first user of the day has to perform the correct startup, while the last user needs to perform the proper instrument shutdown. During the day the instrument can be left on and the user only needs to log out after a short cleaning of the instrument according to the instrument introduction. The actual booking status of the instrument can be checked at the very end of the slot on the PPMS page on the facility computer. There the booking can be actualized i.e. if the experiment finished earlier or needs more time. Furthermore it can be checked if the following user might has deleted the booking last minute. In any case; if the last user deletes the slot on the same day of the booking, it’s his responsibility to control if the instrument was switched off properly!

If a system was just switched off right before another slot, it should be waited 30 minutes to cool down the lasers before re-starting the instrument.

Equipment handling
All FCF equipment resides in laboratory space. Proper usage and routine maintenance of the equipment are critical for optimal data collection. Although calibrations and other maintenance procedures are the responsibility of the FCF, it is important that users properly perform the startup, shutdown, and cleaning procedures as described in the training sessions. The user is responsible for the instrument and work space during the booked time. This means the user is also responsible to refill the sheath tank, to empty the waste tank and to clean spills with EtOH.

Report problems with the instrument or the lab space always immediately to the FCF staff. Like this the problem can be solved as fast as possible and the responsible user can be identified.

If an instrument is down, users will be notified and an alternative for the measurement is discussed.

Data Management and Storage
It is the responsibility of all users to copy their data to a secondary, non-FCF, medium after the data collection. There is no safety guarantee for the data on any instrument workstation. The data on the instrument workstation will be deleted in regular time periods.

It is forbidden to use USB keys on the flow cytometers. For virus reasons, the use of the Day-drive is strongly recommended for data transfer.