The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences

How long do experiments usually take?

It depends on the type and number of samples you want to analyze.

TEM experiments
Usually take several days to one week of specimen preparation and several hours of microscope time.
SEM experiments
Normally take 1-3 days, with the vast majority of this time being devoted to sample preparation.
Cell sorters
  • Setup of the instrument settings and sorting gates will take approximately 30 minutes for each session.
  • Cells can be run at a maximum of about 12,000 cells/second if the concentration is high enough. We find that cells at a concentration of 10-million/mL work well for most people, but the ideal concentration will depend on the cell type and at what concentration the cells aggregate.
  • The total time required will depend on how many cells you desire to collect and the efficiency of the sort. In general, DOUBLE the time that you calculate it would actually take to collect the number of cells you want, because sorting is not 100% efficient, and cells will be lost due to aggregation, filtering, etc.
Benchtop cytometers
  • A working estimate is 1 minute per sample after setup (which usually takes around 30 minutes, depending on complexity).
  • 50 individual tubes (cell concentration 1million/ml) can easily be run in one hour.
Confocal and Widefield microscopes
  • Setup can take 30-60 minutes, depending on complexity of the sample.
  • A reasonably high Nyquist limit z-scan will take about 5 minutes.
Data collection / analysis
  • Fees are charged for the collection of data.
  • No additional charge to analyze the images and flow data on laboratory computers with the appropriate analysis software.
    • We have licensed copies of popular software for data analysis.