A fully functional flow analyzer that can be assembled "from the ground up", used to teach the principles and practical operation of flow cytometers.
Inspired by the Build Your Own Flow Cytometer system developed by John Martin and Mark Wilder at the National Flow Cytometry Resource at Los Alamos National Laboratories, this system was built as a  teaching tool that can be easily transported to international flow cytometry workshops.  Built from carbon fiber, aluminum, titanium and 3D printed components, and utilizing modern, lightweight laser, optical and electronic components, it is light enough to be transported as checked luggage.  It can be assembled from its basic components by students in a classroom or workshop environment.  It is a terrific way to learn both basic and advanced flow cytometry!

The system was originally proposed by Bill Telford at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, and Scott Cram, formerly at LANL and now at The University of Arizona.  It "lives" in Bill Telford's lab at NCI, where it undergoes testing, maintenance, and constant design evolution.  It has been used as a teaching tool in international flow cytometry workshops around the world, including India, Thailand, China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Nepal and Switzerland.

It makes frequent appearances at the Flow Cytometry Workshop series organized by the ISAC Live Education Task Force, directed by Dr. Awtar Krishan at The University of Miami School of Medicine and Zosia Maciorowski at the Curie Institute, Paris, France.

Click here to learn more about the system itself.

Click here to see the assembly sequence.
The Azurite acquisition electronics and Kytos acquisition software package was developed by Mark Naivar of Darkling X, LLC (Los Alamos, NM).
The instrument breadboard was manufactured by Carbon Vision and Advanced Photonics Sciences, the world's only suppliers of carbon fiber breadboards.  Carbon fiber construction is far lighter than aluminum while maintaining strength and rigidity.
Most of the optomechanical
components were
manufactured by
Aluminum alloy and titanium bolts, nuts and rod stock were provided by Pro-Bolt USA.
The small, lightweight 488 nm laser source on this system was manufactured by Vortran Laser Technology, Inc.  It is one of the smallest 488 nm sources available.
The unit is carried in Nanuk pretective cases.  Nanuk cases are lighter in weight  than conventional protective hard cases.
This system and site is maintained by Bill Telford at the National Cancer Institute.  Contact him with questions, comments or inquiries about presentations.
Click here to start building!
The Flow Cytometry Maker Lab is a project developed by Bill Telford and the NCI ETIB Flow Cytometry Core Facility.
Download the most recent PowerPoint presentation here.  All materials and videos can be used at no charge with permission.

The Make Your Own Flow Cytometer is usually a live hands-on experience.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have produced an hour-long video introducing and detailing the building of the Make Your Own Cytometer.  You can download all 10 segments here.
We are starting to incorporate Coherent BioRay and StingRay 488 nm lasers into the Make Your Own Mini.
The Make Your Own Mini is an even smaller version of the Make Your Own Cytometer that can be packed into a single case, and can travel to even more remote locations.   Find out more about this system here.

Thanks to our sponsors!
The Make Your Own Cytometer is an entirely non-profit endeavor.  Contact us if you would like this system presented at your institution.