Service Descriptions and Pricing

​​The MacIsaac Facility currently provides customers access to a variety of flow cytometric services:

Sample Analysis

The Facility 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)] (Para_fixation_protocol_2016.pdf). 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). A batch of samples is considered 200 (or less) similar samples that arrive at our facility within a couple of days, and have a similar refractive index (e.g. salinity). Note: For each 'batch' of 200 samples received, a $400 instrument setup fee will be applied.

Services Cat # Unit Bigelow (Internal) (Academic) (Corporate)
Phytoplankton (Pico/Nano) A-1 1 mL sample $17.55 $19.50 $39.00
Bacteria A-2 1 mL sample $17.55 $19.50 $39.00
Heterotrophic Protists A-3 1 mL sample $22.50 $25.00 $45.00

Cell Sorting & Facility Usage

Four of the Facility instruments can separate individual cells (single or in bulk) from a culture or environmental sample for downstream analysis by the customer (i.e. DNA extraction, biochemical analysis). Some instrumentation within the Facility is also available for use at sea or off-site. Facility 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 $120.00 /hour.

For off-site use or during cruises only the day rate applies, the Facility customer shall pay operator travel and equipment shipping 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 MacIsaac Facility currently maintains two UNOLS vans for use at sea.

Services Cat # Unit Bigelow (Internal) (Academic) (Corporate)
Cell Sorting B-1 Day (7.5 hours) $792 $880 $1400
Facility Usage (inc. at sea usage) B-2 Day (7.5 hours) $792 $880 $1400

Imaging & Analysis

An imaging cytometer, FlowCAM, 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 MacIsaac Facility 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) $792 $880 $1400
Microplankton Determination using imaging cytometry (FlowCAM) C-2 150 mL / sample $360 $400 $800


The MacIsaac Facility also provides training (for aquatic applications) as well as application development services. Please contact the Facility Director for more information.

Services Cat # Unit Bigelow (Internal) (Academic) (Corporate)
On-site training and consultation D-1 Day (7.5 hours) $792 $880 $1400

Sample Cost Example:

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

Batch Setup Fee = $400 Sample Fee = $19.50 Total Cost = ($400 x 1) + ($19.50 x 250) = $ 5,275

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

Service Request

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

​​Downloadable Service Request Form