Flow Cytometry

Flow Cytometry (FCM) Unit: Department of Haematology

Head of Department: Dr Arundathi Kurukulasuriya

Flow cytometry is a technology that utilises identification of known carbohydrate and or protein molecules on the surface of cells to identify them very specifically. The cells flow in single file through a sensing zone where a laser beam incident on the cells cause the molecules of interest to emit light at specific wave lengths as they are bound to antibodies attached to fluorescent dyes.

Identification of specific types of leukaemias, lymphomas, platelet function disorders, paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinurias, quantification of bone marrow stem cell number before transplanting and monitoring the progress and response to treatment of HIV are some examples where FCM is invaluable in diagnosis. 

In the private sector LHD is at present the only laboratory offering this diagnostic service in Sri Lanka.

The samples used are both fresh blood and bone marrow aspirate samples. Crushed lymph nodes can also be used for this test.