We offer

  • assistance for cell sorting, data-acquisition and data-analysis
  • training for cell sorting and Multicolor panel design
  • high quality data, using the right technical controls, excluding variability, appropriate panel design
  • accessible equipment and flexibility so in-house trained people can use the equipment independently, access is granted 24/7 after training
  • innovation of downstream applications (e.g. transcriptomics) by overcoming technical difficulties related to cell sorting and sample prep

Some background

The VIB FACS Expertise Center was founded in April 2020 to solve the need for support on FACS-related experiments for researchers of CCB and CBD. The unit currently features an easy-to-use Cell Sorter (Sony MA900) and an analyzer which records 20 parameters simultaneously (BD Fortessa X-20). Jochen Lamote is responsible for the unit and provides both technical as scientific support. Projects can be either run by the investigator(s) themselves on the instruments or outsourced to the Jochen Lamote on a first come, first served basis.

Flow Cytometry is a widely-used field to characterize the expression of proteins on a single-cell level. Proteins in the cell are either labeled with antibodies conjugated to a fluorophore or with fluorescent dyes. Depending on the instrument, several proteins can be simultaneously detected on a single cell, including a microscopic image to assess localization of your protein of interest in the cell. Next to characterizing the cells with analyzers, cells can be sorted based on their protein expression or simply based on morphological parameters to purify your cells of interest for a wide range of downstream applications, including single cell RNA-sequencing, mass spectrometry, functional assays, etc.

The platforms are high throughput and the sorting and analysis software are relatively easy-to-use. Internal training is provided for VIB users, external parties can contact the unit to make arrangements.

BD Fortessa X-20

The BD Fortessa X-20 is an analyzer with a robust reputation over the years. It’s relatively easy to use, especially users with pre-existing knowledge on FACS DIVA (e.g. BD Canto, BD Aria) will have no issues to use the instrument. The Fortessa features 20 parameters (18-colors + 2 physical parameters) which are customizable based on user request.

Standard Configuration:

  • UltraViolet laser: BUV395, BUV496, BUV563, BUV805 (optional: BUV737)
  • Violet laser: BV421, BV510, BV605, BV650, BV711, BV786
  • Blue laser: FITC, PerCP-Cy5.5
  • YellowGreen laser: PE, PE-CF594, PE-Cy7 (optional: PE-Cy5; PE-Cy5.5)
  • Red laser: APC, AF700, APC-Cy7

Sony MA900

The Sony MA900 is an operator-friendly Cell Sorter. Like its competitors (e.g. BD Melody) the system is easy and straightforward to use, which results in some compromises, like collinearity of the lasers. The system runs on disposable sorting chips, which eliminates the built up of contaminants in the Flow Cell in conventional cell sorters. This instrument has a low threshold for people who have no pre-existing experience with cell sorting.


  • Violet + Red laser: BV421, BV510, BV570, BV605, BV650 or APC, BV711 or AF700, BV786 or APC-Cy7
  • Blue + YellowGreen laser: FITC, PE, PE-CF594, PERCP-Cy5.5 or PE-Cy5.5, PE-Cy7
Jochen Lamote

Get in touch

The VIB FACS Expertise Center is run by Jochen Lamote under the supervision of a steering committee consisting of members of the VIB-KU Leuven Centers for Cancer Biology and Brain & Disease Research. For access, project discussion, sort requests and/or training, feel free to reach out to Jochen.

Jochen Lamote, PhD
VIB Center for Cancer Biology – Prof. dr. Chris Marine

Campus Gasthuisberg
Building O&N4, box 912
Herestraat 49
3000 Leuven



The VIB FACS Expertise unit has several collaborations. If you have an assay involving flow cytometry, please reach out and we will bring you in touch with the right person and will provide scientific and/or operational support. This includes – but is not limited to - access to an Aria III for more flexible sorting parameters, a full option Amnis ImageStream for high-throughput image analysis and a Spectral Flow Cytometer from Cytek Biosciences.