New Flow Cytometer – Cell Separator at IDIVAL with more applications that enhances the scientific capabilities of the Institute

This new equipment expands the possibilities of identification and isolation of cellular and subcellular populations in a more precise way for use in biomedical research projects.


IDIVAL already has a new CELL SEPARATOR (SORTER) in operation with greater functionalities, available both for IDIVAL researchers and external users.

Its capacity to measure multiple cell parameters simultaneously allows the identification, analysis and separation of different cell populations, but it also has a greater sensitivity to detect and separate subcellular particles (nanoparticles, micro vesicles or exosomes, etc.), which expands the catalog of services of the Unit.

Another of the improvements introduced with this equipment is the optimization of sterile conditions in the processing of samples, since it is installed inside a Class II biosafety cabinet that guarantees the sterility of separations destined for cell cultures. It should be noted that it is the only equipment in Cantabria with these features.

Specific characteristics of the SORTERCaracterísticas específicas del SORTER

The new sorter, CytoFLEX SRT (Beckman-Coulter), is capable of 17 detection channels, including 15 for fluorescence detection: five fluorescent channels of the 405 nm (violet) laser, two of the 488 nm (blue) laser, five of the 561 nm (yellow) laser and three of the 638 nm (red) laser. It also offers different configuration options depending on research needs.

In relation to separation, this new equipment allows 4 populations to be separated simultaneously and aborted events to be recovered, allowing reprocessing of the discarded cells.

In addition, it offers different sample collection formats: tube, plate (6-, 24-, 24-, 48-, 96- and 384-well) and slide, as well as single cell separation. It also has different sorting modes and the possibility of linking the position of the separated cells with the cytometric data.

This equipment is installed in the Cytometry and Cell Separation Unit of the Technological Services (SATs) of IDIVAL located in the laboratory 023 of the IDIVAL Building, and is available for all those researchers who require multiparametric cytometry studies and isolation of cell populations in sterility for further studies. You can consult the rules of use of the equipment, request the services and consult the rates here.


The Valdecilla Biobank also has new scientific equipment. It is an automated system for the extraction of nucleic acids from different types of samples, the CHEMAGIC 360 robot (PerkinElmer). This state-of-the-art, high-performance equipment uses extraction technology with magnetic microspheres to obtain high-purity DNA, RNA, cfDNA and miRNA.

This robot can process up to 96 samples simultaneously, which has increased the biobank’s work rate and is very useful for isolating DNA from blood samples donated to the biobank by more than 28,000 volunteers who have so far participated in the Cantabria Cohort.


These two new pieces of equipment that boost the Institute’s scientific capabilities have been acquired with funding from the call for grants of the State Subprogram Infrastructures of the Strategic Action in Health 2017-2020, charged to the European funds of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (Projects IFEQ21/00086 and IFEQ21/00087).

The Technological Services of the IDIVAL Institute

IDIVAL’s technological support services (TSS) have high performance infrastructures and qualified technical staff organized in units. The purpose of the TSSs is to make scientific and technical equipment and services available to the scientific and healthcare professional community in order to facilitate and promote biomedical research and innovation in Cantabria.