Ever find yourself staring at a folder of FCS files and thinking, “Wait, now which tubes did I add PMA to, how much did I add, and which samples were these again?”
Jonathan from Cytobank/Stanford recommends what he calls “future proofing” in order to avoid this problem. He explained this approach during a CYTO 2011 Pre-Congress course in his talk titled “Flood Cytometry: Embracing Single Cell Systems Biology (and coping with large cytometry experiments).” In that talk, he outlined four easy steps that are useful for experiments of all sizes.
When collecting on the cytometer:
- Tag your FCS files with key experiment details (e.g. “Patient-J01 IL-2 15m”)
- Label the channels you are measuring (before collecting data)
- Make sure scales and compensations work (before collecting data)
- Encode clinical sample IDs (don’t use HIPAA sensitive information)