Biosafety

All FCCF equipment resides in laboratory space. Therefore, all laboratory rules as mandated by BUMC (OEHS), OSHA, City of Boston, and State of the Massachusetts apply. Failure to adhere to these rules at all times will result in suspension of access to all FCCF equipment.

All users must be up to date with both BSL1 and BSL2 lab safety training (included in the Research Safety Training that is mandatory for all researchers on campus). Radioactive samples are not allowed in our facility under any circumstances.

Rooms X322 (containing BD LSR II) and X324/325 (containing BD FACSARIA II and MoFlo) areBSL2. Correct PPE must be worn and proper containment procedures must be practiced at all times in this location. Specifically:

  • All BSL2 samples must be transported to this location in a secondary, waterproof container with a secure lid (such as a tupperware, styroform is not acceptable).
  • Users must wear our PPE (lab coat, eye protection goggles, gloves) located by the front entrance and remove this PPE before leaving the facility.
  • Closed toe shoes are required in this location at all times.

Our X320 area (containing BD FACScan and BD FACSCalibur) is strictly BSL1. No unfixed human samples (or other BSL2 level material) are allowed to be analyzed on those instruments at any time.

General rules

Proper usage and routine maintenance of the equipment are critical for optimal data collection. Although calibrations and other maintenance procedures are the responsibility of the FCCF, it is important that users properly perform the startup, shutdown, and cleaning procedures as described in the training sessions. Failure to comply with all usage procedures as laid out in the equipment tutorials, manuals, and training sessions can result in restricted or suspended access to all FCCF equipment.

Please do not use lab supplies, sinks, and trash bins that belong to other labs that share the FCCF floor space.

Access to FCCF instruments and services

New users of FACScan, FACSCalibur and LSRII must be trained by FCCF staff. It is not sufficient to be trained by your experienced lab peers. You are welcome to invite them to join you at the FCCF training session and to assist you afterwards. It is strictly prohibited to share your BU password/credentials with users who are not trained and hence do not have access to the FCCF instruments.

If you need to obtain card access to FCCF, please contact us, and we will update the security list.

Placing reservations

All FCCF computers use BU Kerberos login/password combinations for user authentication.

The Cores Equipment Scheduler manages all reservations for instruments and services in the FCCF. Once all required training is complete you will be authorized to reserve the FCCF resource of interest. You must first create a reservation in the Scheduler before attempting to log on to any FCCF instrument/computer.

Mac stations
(BD FACSCalibur, BD FACScan, Cell Quest Pro analysis station)
You may only log on to FCCF computers at your reserved time plus or minus 30 minutes. If you don’t have a reservation, log in as “Schedule” and create a reservation through the web link icon on the desktop. Then attempt to log onto the computer as yourself (“Other” option at login).
PC stations
(BD LSR II SORP, FlowJo/FACSDiva analysis station)
You may create a reservation right before using the resource.

For the BD LSR II, there are two logins, one for computer and the other for FACSDiva software. Please use your BU Kerberos credentials for computer login and your common lab account for the FACSDiva login. Your billed time starts when you login into the PC, not when you login into FACSDiva.

Assistance, training and consulting sessions Please contact the FCCF in addition to placing the reservation in the Cores Equipment Scheduler.
Sorting Before your first sort, we highly recommend contacting the FCCF to discuss the details of your experiment. Many factors (including nozzle size, use of the ACDU, necessity of extra cleaning post-sort, etc.) can impact how much time will be required. We will advise you on how much time to reserve to ensure there is ample time to sort your sample.

Data management and storage

It is the responsibility of all users to copy their data to a secondary, non-FCCF, medium at the time of collection and/or analysis.

You can bring a USB drive to transfer data. We strongly recommend using external network data storage available for BUMC users through BUMC Information Technologies (“Y-drive”).

Data generated during sorting will be made available to the user at the time of collection or within 24 hours after collection. Sorter data will typically be housed for a minimum of one month.

Billing policies

Please find our rates at the Instruments and Services page. You can also see the rates when making a reservation in the Cores Equipment Scheduler.

BD FACSCalibur,
BD FACScan,
data analysis workstations
You will be billed for actual time spent while logged in to the computers. There is no penalty for not showing up for your reservations or booking extra time on these instruments, although we strongly encourage users to cancel their reservations as soon as they are aware that they are not going to use them.
BD LSR II SORP 9 AM – 8 PM on weekdays, users are billed for the greater of time reserved or actual time used on the instrument. After hours and on the weekends, users are billed for the actual time of usage only.

For cancellations, users must cancel their reservations 24 hours in advance of their scheduled appointment to avoid being charged for the time.

If you must cancel due to unexpected experimental issues within 24 hours of your reservation, you may email us and ask to have the reservation to be removed and the no-show fee waived.

Sorting services

Billing starts when your appointment starts, not when you enter the lab; billing ends when the sort ends. If your sort ends early, you are not billed for that time.

For cancellations, users must cancel their reservations 24 hours in advance of their scheduled appointment to avoid being charged for the entire time scheduled.

The core reserves the right to restrict your access to the facility in the event of frequent last minute cancellations, late arrivals or no-shows.

Assistance, training and consulting sessions Users who do not show for these sessions will be billed for the entire time scheduled. Users that cancel their appointment through the scheduler must also notify us by email, otherwise they will be billed the assistance/training/consulting rate for the entire time scheduled.

Inovices are sent out monthly with a 7 day grace period for PIs or their administrators to contact Alexis Corazzini (alco7@bu.edu) with any billing questions. All our external users have 30 days from receipt of invoices for services to complete payment. All payments not made when due shall be subject to a finance charge of 1.5% per month (annual percentage rate 18%) from the invoice date.

Acknowledgements

Please acknowledge the FCCF in all publications and grant applications where equipment use and/or services and expertise provided by our staff contributed to the final work product. One example of an acknowledgement is as follows: “This work was supported by the Boston University Flow Cytometry Core Facility.”

Publication co-authorship with a FCCF staff member should be considered when there was a significant contribution to the experimental design or final outcome of the study.

Please send us a PDF of your newly accepted papers if they contain data generated at the FCCF. Also, please let us know if your grants that contain FCCF-generated data are awarded.

Issues and problems

Always email reports of problems with instruments (including clogs, dirty equipment, empty sheath tanks, low supplies, etc.) to flowcore@bu.edu.

We will notify users when an instrument is down. If the instrument where you made your reservation is not working, we will assist you in collecting your data on a different instrument and will waive the assistance surcharge.