Cytometry and Antibody Technology

The Flood of `21 – Last update

by | Nov 17, 2021 | Announcements | 0 comments

The CAT Facility got flooded over the weekend and we want to provide as much up-to-date information about the situation and what we’re doing about it. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns. Check back again here for the most recent updates.



From what we’ve gathered so far, an RO waterline broke at some point over the weekend and water sprayed all the way to the ceiling. The tiles eventually disintegrated and fell right on top of the instruments located underneath. The instruments impacted are both the Aurora-B and -G, the Fortessa X20 and the Attune NxT.  They all suffered damage to some extent, either to the instrument itself, or to the acquisition computer.  At this time, all of these instruments have been put off-line.

We are discussing with the University’s insurance group to see how we will move forward. The first step is to get service engineers to assess the instruments, and we have contacted the manufacturers to schedule a visit. This is where we stand right now, and future updates will be added to this post as we get more information.

The Fortessa 4-15, the Fortessa 4-15 HTS, the ImageStream, the MSD, the Luminex, and all of the sorters have not been impacted by the water. The AriaII is having issues, but that’s an unrelated thing. The LSRII in the Billings Hospital is also available.

Scheduling time on the instrument will get difficult, so do not hesitate to contact the staff to see what options are available. We can also assist you with adjusting your panel to fit a different cytometer or discuss options for setting up your experiment so that datasets run on different cytometers can be combined/compared. Configurations of available cytometers can be found here.

One of the alternatives is to use the instruments located in the PME facility in the William Eckhardt Research center. There is a 5 laser Aurora and a 5 laser Fortessa within the lab. Note that the Aurora is the same configuration as ours, but the PME Fortessa does not have BUV805 like our Fortessa X20 did. Configuration comparisons can be found here. Access is restricted by key card, but the CAT Facility staff have access and can walk you over to the lab. You can make your reservation in iLab with the PME Benchtop Instruments schedule, and coordinate with the staff to get access.


Update 06/25/21

A very quick update about what is going on in the flow lab:
– A service engineer had a look at the Attune which worked pretty well all things considered. The instrument is designed with veryfew openings for water to get into, and a 1.5 inch of empty space at the bottom. So we found no sign of water damage inside the instrument and QC looked very good. This is a victory for smart instrument design. The computer got smacked pretty badly however, and while it did run somewhat properly yesterday, I don’t trust it will last for very long. We’ll get it replaced and should be good to go afterwards. A quote will be sent on Monday and we’ll place the order immediately.
– We are expecting a service engineer from Cytek on Monday, and the service engineer from BD later in the week.
I wanted to share a quick update on the situation in the CAT Facility.
Replacement of 4 Offline Benchtop Analyzers
The insurance claim is still being developed. At this time, we still need a BD service engineer to come on campus and provide a service report on the status of the Fortessa X20. Service engineers for the Auroras and Attune have reported a need for fully replacing both Auroras as well as the plate loader and computer for the Attune.
Unfortunately dealing with insurance is slow.We are working with the OSRF to find a faster wayto replace the instruments that were damaged while we wait for insurance to process. We are discussing different options but at this time, I can’t provide a clear timeline.
New Benchtop Analyzer 
We are getting a new benchtop analyzer next week. The Jonas Center for Cellular Therapy has purchased a 4 lasers, 16 parameters Agilent Quanteon instrument, which will be managed by the CAT Facility. The Quanteon will replace the LSRII in the Billings Hospital S301 Satellite Facility. The instrument will be installed on 07/21, and training will be available starting the following day. I will send a second email next week with some specific details about the instrument and how it can be accessed.
The LSRII will be relocated in the main facility in the BSLC building on Monday morning. For those of you who may not be familiar with this older platform, it’s essentially the original version of the Fortessa. Both instruments work exactly the same way, so if you have been trained on the Fortessa, you will be very familiar with the LSRII. Configuration of the LSRII compared to the Fortessas can be found here.
Sorter Status and New Sorters
On the sorter side, we are still waiting on BD to repair the AriaII. I contact BD every other day, but I still  can’t say when to expect a visit. On the brighter side, the RROC did approve our request for a new ThermoFisher Bigfoot cell sorter. I’ll provide an update on the instrument when we have an installation date. Also, we have acquired an Aria III as a generous gift from the Surgery department. This instrument needs a bit of care, but will be made available as soon as possible. Once all is said and done, we will have fivecell sorters available, including the MACSQuant Tyto.

Hi everyone,

Here is a quick update on the situation in the CAT Facility:

– The Attune is scheduled to be repaired tomorrow, I will notify everyone when it’s good to go.

– I just placed a requisition for the replacement of one of the two Cytek Aurora units impacted by the water (this would be the Aurora-G). Cytek will ship a replacement as soon as they receive our PO.

– Things may drag with regards to the Fortessa X20 and the Aurora-B. The insurance group is pushing a solution that we believe has no chance of success but takes a bit of time. I will keep everyone posted as things develop.

– The Bigfoot cell sorter has been purchased and we are expecting the installation to be around the first week of September. We’ll see with ThermoFisher how we can spend our time to learn the software and operation on the instrument so we can get started as soon as possible after installation.

– Our BD service engineer is expected to schedule a visit soon to fix the sample chamber on the AriaII. I don’t have a specific date at this point.

– He will be looking into restoring the AriaIII the AriaIII. It is currently a 3-lasers/8parameters instrument, and we’ll see how many more detectors can be added, but we don’t plan on adding a 561nm line at this point.

Please let me know if you have any questions.



This will be the last update about the flood situation at the CAT Facility. At this time, the Attune NxT has been fixed and is good to go, one of the Aurora unit has been replaced by a new unit and the Fortessa X20 has been replaced by a new Agilent Penteon equipped with 5 lasers and 30 detectors. What remains to be done is install the NovoSample Q, which was not included when the instrument was delivered for some reason, and complete the repairs on the Aurora-B.

The Attune NxT has been placed on service contract, although the instrument is showing no signs of any undiagnosed problems yet. We will look into getting a second contract for the Aurora-B once the repair work is completed.

The latest episode of the ChUG podcast discuss our experience with the flood and how the Insurance Group that helped us get back on feet. I’m incredibly thankful for all the support and patience we have received from our users, and the Insurance Group. Hopefully, we won’t have to go though anything similar ever again!


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