JoVE Journal, March 24, 2023
William Bauta, Marcia Grayson, Rossella Titone, Jennifer Rebeles, Vivienne I. Rebel
Flow cytometry can rapidly characterize and quantify diverse cell populations based on fluorescence measurements. The cells are first stained with one or more fluorescent reagents, each functionalized with a different fluorescent molecule (fluorophore) that binds to cells selectively based on their phenotypic characteristics, such as cell surface antigen expression. The intensity of fluorescence from each reagent bound to cells can be measured on the flow cytometer using channels that detect a specified range of wavelengths. When multiple fluorophores are used, the light from individual fluorophores often spills over into undesired detection channels, which requires a correction to the fluorescence intensity data in a process called compensation.
Compensation control particles, typically polymer beads bound to a single fluorophore, are needed for each fluorophore used in a cell labeling experiment. Data from compensation particles from the flow cytometer are used to apply a correction to the fluorescence intensity measurements. This protocol describes the preparation and purification of polystyrene compensation beads covalently functionalized with the fluorescent reagent meso-tetra(4-carboxyphenyl) porphine (TCPP) and their application in flow cytometry compensation. In this work, amine-functionalized polystyrene beads were treated with TCPP and the amide coupling reagent EDC (N-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-N′-ethylcarbodiimide hydrochloride) at pH 6 and at room temperature for 16 h with agitation. The TCPP beads were isolated by centrifugation and resuspended in a pH 7 buffer for storage. TCPP-related particulates were observed as a byproduct. The number of these particulates could be reduced using an optional filtration protocol. The resultant TCPP beads were successfully used on a flow cytometer for compensation in experiments with human sputum cells labeled with multiple fluorophores. The TCPP beads proved stable following storage in a refrigerator for 300 days.