Flow Cytometry: A Versatile and Powerful Tool for Drug Discovery and Development





Flow cytometry, drug discovery, drug development , mass cytometry , spectral cytometry


Flow cytometry, a pivotal tool in clinical and research labs since the discovery of cell markers in the mid-1970s, plays a crucial role across all phases of drug discovery. Modern flow cytometers can detect rare cell types relevant to disease pathogenesis, measure numerous parameters simultaneously, thus, offer versatility in drug screening. In drug discovery studies, flow cytometry contributes to the assessment of drug pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and safety in animal models and clinical trials. It can also be used to monitor drug efficacy and identify biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis.

In essence, flow cytometry is a versatile, instrumental technique that supports drug discovery from target identification through to clinical development, limited only by the creativity of the researcher and the availability of fluorescent labels or specific size/scatter related findings. This review article focuses on the use of flow cytometry in drug discovery and drug development studies, summarizing not only conventional assays such as immunophenotyping, measurement of programmed cell death pathways and cell division to provide insights into drug effects and patient responses, but also novel approaches including mass cytometry, spectral cytometry, and droplet cytometry.

Keywords: Flow cytometry, drug discovery, drug development, mass cytometry, spectral cytometry


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How to Cite

Aru, B., & Yanikkaya Demirel, G. (2024). Flow Cytometry: A Versatile and Powerful Tool for Drug Discovery and Development. Pharmedicine Journal, 1(1), 1–19. https://doi.org/10.62482/pmj.5