Problem: Scientists must typically rely on high-end cell sorters in core facilities to run their samples. These cell sorters—equipped with five or more lasers and double digit detection channels—were originally utilized to answer pressing questions arising in the immunology field. However, they are overly complex for the new breed of user who sorts cells today: cell biologists and biochemists who employ fluorescent proteins and require at most four colors and one-to-two population sorting. The challenge is that as demand increases, the number of staff available to operate these complex instruments remains the same. As a result, wait times at core facilities have ballooned, literally putting research on hold until capacity is available. For the more than half of today’s cell sorting users who require four colors or
fewer sorts, the elaborate equipment is becoming a bottleneck.