Rules and Restrictions

We want to keep life and work in the Flow Cytometry Lab as flexible as possible. We also need to make sure that the cytometers are reliable and maximally available to a large and varied group of scientists. With this in mind, we have a short set of rules. The rules are designed to be helpful for most of the people most of the time. If the rules make life difficult for you, let us know (but follow them anyway, until you convince us to change them).

1. Flow cytometers are available for your use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. "Normal hours" are 9:00AM to 5:00PM, Monday through Friday. "Other hours" are other than normal hours. If you use the instruments during "normal hours," you can expect them to be warmed up and QC'd, ready for your use.

If you plan to use the instruments during "other hours":

  • Check with DartLab staff in advance to confirm that you have signed our User Agreement, have your own account on the instrument and that you know the correct start-up and shut-down procedures.
  • Make sure that you have card access to the Borwell Flow Cytometer Lab, (Room 342W) on your DHMC ID badge.  Contact us to learn access procedures for the MACSquant VYB and MACSquantTyto  in Remsen on the Hanover campus.
  • If you are starting the instruments in the morning, allow about a half hour for the lasers to warm up before they are ready for use.
  • If you are working after 5:00PM, check the sign-up schedule on RaDar to see whether you are the last user on the instrument for the day. If so, shut the instrument down and turn off the lights as you leave.
  • If you were signed up to use the Gallios, Yeti or ZE5 after 5:00PM and you cancel your reservation last-minute, alert Dartlab staff during “normal hours” to your change in plans, or come shut down the system for the evening.

2. Cancellation Policy

The instruments are often heavily used and time is at a premium. Last minute cancellations of time booked are a real inconvenience to people who are trying to plan experiments (not to say lives) around availability. For this reason we have a lab policy that you will be charged for all of the time you book as well as all of the time you use, unless you check in with DartLab staff more than 24 hours in advance for approval of a cancellation.

3. Misuse of Instruments Policy

Maintaining the instruments in reliable working order is a major time and budget commitment by DartLab. It is essential that we avoid complications resulting from instrument misuse.

  • All samples must be filtered through a 70µm filter immediately prior to acquisition on a flow cytometer or cell sorter. See this SOP for guidance on sample filtering. Users who fail to comply with filtering protocols risk clogging instruments and will be charged for repairs and time lost while instrument is clogged. Repeated incidents of failure to filter may result in the revocation of DartLab instrument use privileges.
  • All users approved to operate the flow cytometers unassisted must agree to abide by our standard operating procedures for care and cleaning of the instruments. These are posted near each instrument.
  • All users must abide by all responsibilities, rules, and guidelines detailed in the DartLab User Agreement.

Users who repeatedly misuse our instruments will lose approval to operate the flow cytometers unassisted.

4. Biosafety Regulations

All DartLab instruments are located within Biosafety Level II (BSLII) facilities. It is imperative that all users maintain up-to-date BSLII training certification and comply fully with all safety protocols at all times within our labs. This includes the use of PPE, proper specimen containment, transport and storage, and the use of biological safety cabinets when working with uncontained BSLII samples.

Gloves and lab coats should be worn at all times while using our instruments. Clean gloves should be use to handle instrument keyboards and mice. Gloves are provided in all of our facilities, and lab coats are available to borrow in the Rubin and Borwell labs.  

5. Data Management Policy

Users are responsible for their own data. Users should retrieve their data from instruments as soon as possible following acquisition. DartLab agrees to store user data for one month after acquisition. After one month data will be removed from instrument computers and continued storage of data is not guaranteed. Data may be removed from MACSquant computers after less than one month; this data is stored externally and may be retrieved upon request to DartLab staff.