Rapid analysis and minimal sample processing

Equipped with acoustic-assisted hydrodynamic focusing, the Invitrogen™ Attune™ Flow Cytometer is able to achieve sample-throughput rates up to 10 times faster than traditional cytometers. This means that you can process samples more quickly and acquire sufficient events even from very dilute samples. In addition, the Attune Flow Cytometer accommodates no-wash, no-lyse protocols, allowing you to collect data on samples that have been subjected to minimal handling.

Learn more about the Attune Nxt Flow Cytometer

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"With the acoustic focusing and sample uptake technology, the Attune rarely clogs or encounters other common fluidic problems as seen with other cytometers that require sheath pressure. During its first year of operation with multiple users we only once required servicing for a problem that was readily solved."Laurie Kennedy, Flow Core Manager, University of Calgary

Acoustic-assisted hydrodynamic focusing means more uniform laser interrogation

At the start of every Attune flow cytometer run, a sample of suspended cells is aspirated into the instrument, and acoustic focusing is applied. Acoustic focusing uses ultrasonic radiation pressure (>2 MHz) to transport particles into the center of the sample stream. This pre-focused stream is then injected into the sheath stream, which supplies an additional hydrodynamic pressure to the sample. The combination of these two forces—termed acoustic-assisted hydrodynamic focusing—results in a narrow core stream and uniform laser illumination, regardless of the sample input rate. In traditional cytometers that rely solely on hydrodynamic focusing, the sample core widens to accommodate the increases in flow rate, which results in less uniform laser light illumination.

schematic drawing comparing acoustic focusing to hydrodynamic focusing

A wider sample core results in a broader distribution of cells as they transit through the laser, meaning fewer cells are accurately aligned with the laser focal point. To obtain optimal data from a conventional flow cytometer, with the lowest variability in signal detection, the instrument must be run at the lowest sample rate, which is typically 10–20 μL/min. Higher sample rates result in greater variability and less precise measurements. The addition of acoustic focusing avoids this compromise in data and sample rates by uncoupling cell alignment from sheath flow.


Acoustic focusing in action. This video demonstrates the event alignment that occurs when acoustic focusing is applied.   Video of acoustic flow cytometry. View of the end of the capillary with cells run at 500 µL/min.

Many cell types and samples are now within your reach

Designed using acoustic-assisted hydrodynamic focusing, the Attune NxT flow cytometer achieves sample-throughput rates of of 12.5 µL/min–1 mL/min or 12.5–1,000 µL/min—up to 10 times faster than traditional hydrodynamic focusing systems—and data acquisition speeds of 35,000 events/sec. This means that you can process all of your samples more quickly than ever before. In addition, this feature is useful for samples that are inherently low in concentration (i.e., cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and stem cell preparations) and for precious samples (i.e., mouse blood, bone marrow, and thin-needle aspirates) that require the entire sample be analyzed to collect sufficient events. 

A broad range of particle sizes is also accommodated in the Attune NxT Flow Cytometer. The maximum particle size according to the instrument specification sheet is 50 μm, but we have anecdotal reports from customers regarding successful detection and analysis of cells as large as 100 μm (without clogging) down to particles of 100 nm.

Save time—10X faster speed with no loss in data quality

The Attune NxT flow cytometer, designed using acoustic-assisted hydrodynamic focusing, achieves sample-throughput rates of of 12.5 µL/min–1 mL/min or 12.5–1,000 µL/min—up to 10 times faster than traditional hydrodynamic focusing systems and data acquisition speeds of 35,000 events/sec.

bar graph comparing speed of Attune NxT Cytometer to competitor instruments

The Attune NxT Flow Cytometer acquires 1,000,000 events in a fraction of the time required compared to three competitor instruments. Data represents protocol time achieved by running the flow cytometers at maximum sample rates for each instrument (1,000 µL/min for the Attune NxT Cytometer).


table showing similar CV values at six different sample rates

Minimal data variation at high sample rates with the Attune NxT Flow Cytometer. Jurkat cells were fixed and stained with propidium iodide, treated with RNase and analyzed at a concentration of 1 x 106 cells/mL on the Attune NxT flow cytometer. Regardless of sample rate, the coefficient of variation (CV) of cells in the G0/G1 and G2/M phases remain consistent, even at the highest sample rate of 1,000 μL/min.


Save time and minimize cell handling with faster protocols

The Attune NxT flow cytometer accommodates a no-wash, no-lyse protocol for whole blood, which dramatically reduces the number of steps you have to perform, the amount of sample that is lost during wash steps, and the amount of handling your cells have to endure.

See the no wash, no lyse options sample data

Comparison of whole blood immunophenotyping protocols
  Number of steps Total sample prep time
Traditional immunophenotyping protocol
10 ~1–2 hr
No wash, no lyse immunophenotyping protocol 3 ~15–20 min

Download the application notes:


image of a scatter plot generated from the Attune NxT flow cytometer

Supports the applications you're already running

We've conducted countless experiments using the Attune Flow Cytometer, many of the same ones scientists are performing in their labs every day. Take a look at the data we've obtained for the following applications: