What is Immunophenotyping?
Immunophenotyping is a technique used to study the protein expressed by cells. This technique is commonly used in basic science research and laboratory diagnostic purpose. This can be done on tissue section (fresh or fixed tissue), cell suspension, etc. An example is the detection of tumor marker, such as in the diagnosis of leukemia. It involves the labelling of white blood cells with antibodies directed against surface proteins on their membrane. By choosing appropriate antibodies, the differentiation of leukemic cells can be accurately determined. The labelled cells are processed in a flow cytometer, a laser-based instrument capable of analyzing thousands of cells per second. The whole procedure can be performed on cells from the blood, bone marrow or spinal fluid in a matter of a few hours.