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Cell frequency in common samples

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Careful experimental design and planning before you stain your cells is important as it can improve your data and avoid unwanted repetition due to lack of statistical significance.

There are a number of important things to consider such as sample preparation, experimental design and controls before you start the actual process of staining your cells with antibodies. Here we will discuss the importance of cell frequency in your flow cytometry experiment

Cell frequency can influence the choice of fluorophore and how many cells you will need to collect to obtain statistically significant data, crucial with rare populations. We have produced handy tables showing the relative frequency of cells in commonly used human, mouse and rat tissues, allowing you to plan and predict your flow populations.

For more information on all the other important aspects you should consider before you start your experiment, to help optimize your flow cytometry, please read the related chapter in our updated flow guide and watch our dedicated webinar.

Determination of the frequency of cells in your flow assay is important for several reasons. It will be relevant for you to determine how many cells you will need to stain in order to collect a statistically relevant number of positive or negative cells. Table 1 below shows how the frequency of a population will dramatically affect the number of cells collected if you start from the same number of stained cells in your sample. With cell frequencies of less than 1% you may want to stain and acquire more cells in order to collect enough cells.