The new Northern Lights series of advanced flow cytometry systems from Cytek Biosciences Inc, Fremont, Calif, is the latest in a series of instruments that furthers the company’s mission to make full-spectrum flow cytometry accessible to a larger number of scientists.

The market for flow cytometry analyzers is being driven by rapidly expanding areas of research—such as studies for chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy and immunooncology—and is expected to grow to more than $1 billion dollars by 2020. Citing a pressing need for increased access to intuitive, high-capability flow cytometers and the biological insights they provide, Cytek built Northern Lights to make three-laser excitation and more than 24 colors possible at a price point typically attached to systems with far fewer capabilities.

Photo JiangWenbin_Cytek Biosciences

Wenbin Jiang, PhD, Cytek Biosciences.

Incorporating the same spectral technology that Cytek used in its flagship series, Cytek Aurora, Northern Lights offers a value-added package with extended capabilities. With Northern Lights, for example, scientists can now extract the same amount of information from one sample that would take three or four tubes using a conventional cytometer at a similar price point. The company believes the instrument’s price-performance ratio and low total cost of ownership make Northern Lights a solid choice for scientists who have budgeted for a one- to three-laser system—but desire the ability to run panels that range from lower to higher complexity.

Northern Lights can expand with application requirements, such as upgrading from one laser (up to nine colors) to three lasers (beyond 24 colors). The instrument uses only one optical configuration for all applications, which saves time and reduces experimental errors. Northern Lights’ unique optical design and unmixing algorithm combine to enable the use of a wide array of dyes—including those with highly overlapping spectra such as APC and Alexa 647—which is not possible using conventional cytometry.

Additionally, Northern Lights makes going beyond 24 colors affordable. With conventional flow cytometers, achieving more than 18 colors typically requires five lasers, some of which are expensive and high maintenance. By contrast, Northern Lights enables the power of more than 24 colors with just three relatively low-maintenance lasers. Northern Lights also allows for the use of any commercially available dyes that are excited by the onboard lasers, providing more opportunities for the use of lower-cost reagent options.

“At Cytek, we are committed to advancing the scope, reach, and capabilities of flow cytometry, and the only way to accomplish this mission is by developing systems that are powerful and affordable,” says Wenbin Jiang, PhD, CEO of Cytek Biosciences. “Our technology enables scientists to achieve higher quality data all the way up to and beyond 24 colors, while simultaneously adding more flexibility, offering an intuitive workflow, and lowering the total cost of ownership. With the introduction of Northern Lights, we’re placing the power, flexibility, and intuitiveness of our flow cytometry solutions into the hands of even more scientists—and and opening the door for a wider breadth of discoveries.”

Cytek has also introduced two new accessories for its flow cytometry solutions:

  • 561 nm laser. A yellow-green laser that adds 10 more fluorescence detection channels for a total of 48 detectors, enabling even more application flexibility. Available for Cytek Aurora models only.
  • Plate loader. Cytek’s new plate loader offers walkaway capabilities. It supports 96-well plates, three throughput modes, and user-customizable modes. The loader system seamlessly integrates into the Aurora and Northern Lights systems, and offers users the ability to switch between tubes and plates in a matter of seconds.

Northern Lights is now available and backed by Cytek’s comprehensive service plan offerings.

To learn more, visit Cytek.