Flow Cytometry Unit

Welcome to the Flow Cytometry Unit of the Biomedical Research Institute at Hasselt University. This website is intended to provide you with an overview of our equipment and in-house expertise. We are happy to collaborate with academic and non-academic partners for all flow cytometry needs. Don’t hesitate to contact us:

For academic partners: bieke.broux@uhasselt.be

For non-academic partners: biomed.bd@uhasselt.be

Other Information Other Information


Prof. dr. Bieke Broux

Flow Cytometry Unit Manager

Expertise: Multicolour panel design, optimization and analysis



Christel Bocken

Flow Cytometry Unit Technician

Expertise: Sample acquisition, sorting, troubleshooting



PIs/labs involved:

Prof. Niels Hellings
Expertise: human and mouse immune cells (CD4+ cytotoxic cells, Tregs, TFR, neutrophils) in health, disease and aging, interactions between immune cells, the blood-brain barrier and the central nervous system

Prof. Veerle Somers
Expertise: human B cells, biomarkers, inflammaging

Prof. Markus Kleinewietfeld
Expertise: human and mouse T cells (Th17, Tregs), interactions between environment (nutrition, microbiota) and immune system

Prof. Jerome Hendriks
Expertise: human and mouse phagocytes (monocytes, macrophages, microglia), effects of lipid metabolism on central nervous system

Prof. Jeroen Bogie

Prof. Piet Stinissen


If you are interested in our equipment or expertise, a collaboration can be set up according to your needs:

  • Fee-for-Service: performing the relevant experiments for you.
  • Consultancy and training: guiding your experimental set-up and training researchers at your location or at our facilities.
  • Research collaboration: open for joint grant applications when the project is complementary with our own research lines and goals.


We have a catalog available of several validated flow cytometry panels for both human and mouse cells. Additionally, using a validated stepwise protocol for panel design and panel optimization, we can provide you with valuable help, support and technical assistance to design a panel that fits your specific needs. We are also happy to help in formulating the optimal set-up and protocols for your experiments, whether this is sample selection, cell isolation, determining the right stimuli for your cells, or any other technical questions you might have.

Equipment and expertise


BD LSRFortessa

The BD LSRFortessa is equipped with four lasers and can detect FSC, SSC and up to 16 colours simultaneously. It is coupled with a high-throughput sampler (HTS), allowing the acquisition of samples in 96-wells plates. The software used for this machine is FACSDiva version 8.0.

BD FACSCalibur

The BD FACSCalibur is equipped with one laser (blue; 488 nm) and can detect FSC, SSC, and three colours simultaneously.

Coming soon: spectral flow cytometer



The BD FACSAria II is equipped with two lasers and can detect FSC, SSC and up to 7 colours simultaneously. It can sort up to 10 000 events per second with high accuracy. Cells can either be sorted into 5 ml tubes, allowing for sorting of four populations at the same time, or directly onto glass slides or in 96/384 well plates (one population at the time). This platform allows for single cell sorting for further downstream processing, for instance for single cell RNA sequencing. The software used for this machine is FACSDiva version 8.0.

BD FACSAria Fusion

The BD FACSAria Fusion is equipped with four lasers and can detect FSC, SSC, and up to 16 colours simultaneously. The setup of this device is similar to that of our BD LSRFortessa, allowing for the direct translation of your high-parameter phenotyping panel into a sorting panel to isolate your subset of interest. The device is placed within a biosafety cabinet, to ensure sample quality during cell sorting. The instrument is equipped with BD FACSDIva software.


BD Rhapsody Express

The BD Rhapsody Express enables single cell capture for analysis of genomic and proteomic information. BD offers a range of different options for murine and human multi-omics analysis, including targeted mRNA expression analysis, whole transcriptome analysis, surface protein expression analysis (using the BD AbSeq technology), TCR/BCR sequencing, and nuclei sequencing. Additional equipment needed to perform library preparation following single cell capture is also available at the FCU. If you are interested in setting up your own single cell multi-omics experiment, please contact the FCU at an early stage so we can help you maximize your results while minimizing your investment.


Software packages: FACSDiva 8.0; FlowJo 10.7.0 with additional plug-ins; OMIQ

We have expertise in every aspect of flow cytometry. Therefore we can assist you from start to finish: from panel design and optimization to ensure reliable and reproducible data, to data analysis using manual gating techniques or state-of-the-art clustering algorithms depending on your needs. 

In addition, monthly user meetings are organized, where we discuss novel analytical methods, troubleshooting, new panels etc. New users are invited to these meetings, giving them front-row access to innovative technological advances and fruitful discussions. These meetings are organized together with flow cytometry users at Maastricht University, and are led by Dr. Judith Fraussen and Dr. Bieke Broux.

Examples of our areas of expertise:

  • Manual gating for analysis of complex datasets (up to 18 parameters)
  • Manual gating for analysis of rare immune cell subsets
  • Cell proliferation and suppression analysis
  • Cytometric bead array data analysis
  • Clustering algorithms (e.g. FlowSOM, t-SNE, UMAP, …)

Sample Preparation

Curiox Laminar Wash System HT2000

The Curiox Laminar Wash System is designed to perform centrifugation-free gentle washing of cells during sample preparation for flow cytometry, FACS, or single cell sequencing. This technique allows for faster and more effective washing of your cells compared to centrifugation. With this system, 96 samples can be processed simultaneously and a full wash cycle (comparable to three rounds of centrifugation) is done in three minutes. See the Curiox website for more details on the Laminar Wash system (link: https://www.curiox.com/).



Agoralaan Building C

3590 Diepenbeek