Service Descriptions and Pricing

​​The Center for Aquatic Cytometry currently provides customers access to a variety of flow cytometric services:

Sample Analysis

The Center provides general analysis and enumeration of cells within samples collected in the laboratory (cell culture) or in the field (i.e. marine, freshwater, cultured organisms). Routine analysis includes:

  • phytoplankton (can include, Prochlorococcus, Synechococcus, total eukaryotes, & cryptophytes)
  • bacteria
  • heterotrophic protists

Samples must be preserved and stored using standard protocols, see Fixation SOP. Fees are based on the time and effort for correspondence associated with costs and scheduling, handling the samples upon arrival, sample processing, data analysis and reporting (see Table below).

Services Cat # Unit Bigelow (Internal) (Academic) (Corporate)
Phytoplankton (Pico/Nano) A-1 1 mL sample $20.35 $21.50 $32.25
Bacteria A-2 1 mL sample $20.35 $21.50 $32.25
Heterotrophic Protists A-3 1 mL sample $25.20 $28.00 $42.00

Cell Sorting & Facility Usage

Four of the Center instruments can separate individual cells (single or in bulk) from a culture or environmental sample for downstream analysis by the customer/user (i.e. DNA extraction, biochemical analysis). Some instrumentation within the Center is also available for use at sea or off-site. Center usage includes use of any or all instruments, technician, and associated lab facilities and standard expendable supplies. After hours or overtime usage is charged on an hourly basis (after 7.5 hours) at $139.00 /hour.

For off-site use or during cruises only the day rate applies, the Center users shall pay operator travel, equipment shipping and instrument insurance costs in addition to the standard use charges. Off-site usage includes options, such as, the use of instrument vans (8’ x 20’ UNOLS certified laboratories) that can be transported to ships for at-sea work. The Center for Aquatic Cytometry currently maintains two UNOLS vans for use at sea.

Services Cat # Unit Bigelow (Internal) (Academic) (Corporate)
Cell Sorting B-1 Day (7.5 hours) $900 $1000 $1500
Center Usage (inc. at sea usage) B-2 Day (7.5 hours) $900 $1000 $1500

Imaging & Analysis

An imaging cytometer, FlowCAM 8400, and two digital microscopes are housed within the facility and are available for use by both internal and external clients for the analysis of larger micro-phytoplankton within field samples for enumeration and biomass determination. The Center for Aquatic Cytometry usage includes the use of any or all instruments, technician, and associated lab facilities and routine expendable supplies.

Services Cat # Unit Bigelow (Internal) (Academic) (Corporate)
Microscope Usage and Enumeration C-1 Day (7.5 hours) $900 $1000 $1500
Microplankton Determination using imaging cytometry (FlowCAM) C-2 Per sample $540 $600 $900


The Center for Aquatic Cytometry also provides training (for aquatic applications) as well as application development services. Please contact the Center Director for more information (Nicole Poulton –

Services Cat # Unit Bigelow (Internal) (Academic) (Corporate)
On-site training and consultation D-1 Day (7.5 hours) $900 $1000 $1500

Sample Cost Example:

A batch of 250 samples analyzed for phytoplankton (pico/nano) abundance for an academic institution would cost the following:

Sample Fee = $21.50 Total Cost = ($21.50 x 250) = $ 5,375

Fees updated July 2023

Please contact the Center Director ( with any service related questions or for a quotation.

Service Request

If interested in requesting services at the Center for Aquatic Cytometry, please download and complete the Service Request Form, and e-mail to the Center Director, Nicole Poulton ( For initial inquiries or questions regarding the cytometry services - please contact the CAC Director.

​​Downloadable Service Request Form