Sample preparation for mass cytometry analysis

Ryan L. McCarthy, Aundrietta D. Duncan, Michelle C. Barton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Mass cytometry utilizes antibodies conjugated with heavy metal labels, an approach that has greatly increased the number of parameters and opportunities for deep analysis well beyond what is possible with conventional fluorescence-based flow cytometry. As with any new technology, there are critical steps that help ensure the reliable generation of high-quality data. Presented here is an optimized protocol that incorporates multiple techniques for the processing of cell samples for mass cytometry analysis. The methods described here will help the user avoid common pitfalls and achieve consistent results by minimizing variability, which can lead to inaccurate data. To inform experimental design, the rationale behind optional or alternative steps in the protocol and their efficacy in uncovering new findings in the biology of the system being investigated is covered. Lastly, representative data is presented to illustrate expected results from the techniques presented here.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere54394
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number122
StatePublished - Apr 29 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Barcoding
  • Cellular Biology
  • Issue 122
  • Mass cytometry
  • Multiparametric
  • Multiplexing
  • Single cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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