Rules and Restrictions

We want to keep life and work in the Flow Cytometry Lab as informal and flexible as possible. We also need to make sure that the cytometers are reliable and maximally available to a large and varied group of scientists. With this in mind, we have a short set of rules. The rules are designed to be helpful for most of the people most of the time. If the rules make life difficult for you, let us know (but follow them anyway, until you convince us to change them).

1. The Lab is available for your use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. "Normal hours" are 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. "Other hours" are other than normal hours.

2. If you use the instruments during "normal hours," you can expect them to be warmed up and QCed, ready for your use.

3. Although we are usually in much earlier and much later than "normal hours," you can’t necessarily count on it. Therefore, if you want to use the instruments during "other hours," life gets a bit more complex:

  • Check with Gary in advance to confirm that you have been given your solo license and that you know the correct start-up or shut-down procedures.
  • Make sure that you have card access to the Borwell Flow Cytometer Lab. This will require a DHMC photo ID card, available from Security (  Make sure you can locate the key to 516 Remsen on the Hanover campus.
  • If you are starting the instruments in the morning, allow about a half hour for the lasers to warm up before they are ready for use.
  • If you are working after 5:00, check the sign-up schedule on CCOPs to see if you are the last person that day. If so, shut the instrument down according to procedure and turn off the lights.
  • If your plans change, come in anyway to start-up or shut-down the system. Someone else will be counting on it.

4. The instruments are often heavily used and time is at a premium. Last minute cancellations of time booked are a real inconvenience to people who are trying to plan experiments (not to say lives) around availability. For this reason we have a lab policy that YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR ALL THE TIME YOU BOOK AS WELL AS ALL THE TIME YOU USE, unless you check with Gary at least 24 hours in advance for approval of a cancellation.

5. Misuse of Instruments Policy

  • Maintaining the instruments in reliable working order is a major time and budget commitment by DartLab. It is essential that we focus on routine and/or expected maintenance and avoid complications resulting from instrument misuse.
  • All users approved to operate the flow cytometers without operator assistance must agree to abide by our standard operating procedures for care and cleaning of the instruments.
  • Users who let the sheath tank run dry, waste tank overflow, leave the instrument on overnight, or who disregard our policies in other ways will be subjected to either a minimum $200 fee or the actual cost to cover parts and labor needed to restore the instrument to normal functioning, whichever is greater.
  • Users who repeatedly misuse our instruments in this fashion will be prohibited from operating the flow cytometers UNLESS they are supervised by Shared Resource staff.

Contact numbers: Flow Lab: (603) 650-7907 (Gary Ward)

DartLab User Agreement

The undersigned user agrees to take reasonable care of the instrumentation and computers in DartLab. You are responsible for:
  • booking cytometer time in advance on CCOPS
  • filtering your samples (see protocol) to prevent clogs
  • checking the sheath reservoir is full and the waste reservoir is empty
  • removing data from DartLab hard drives within 24 hours of acquisition

You agree that if you damage the instruments through clogging or other improper procedures that you (or your PI) are liable for the cost in time and parts required to unclog the instrument (up to $200 per incident).

As the existence of core facilities depends in part on proper acknowledgment in publications and in grant writing, you agree to acknowledge Dartlab in all publications and presentations, together with Grant applications using pilot data generated in the Shared Resource as follows:

"................. was carried out in DartLab: Immunoassay and Flow Cytometry Shared Resource at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth”.

You agree to consider co-authorship if DartLab staff provide significant experimental design, data interpretation, or other intellectual contribution (as evaluated by the PI).

Signed:________________________________                 Date:__________

Co-signed by PI:  ________________________                 Date:__________