- Conventional flow cytometry does not allow the rapid analysis of multiple samples. This has limited its uses in drug discovery, for which the standard for throughput is 100,000 samples per day.We describe a simple method in which commercial peristaltic tubing is connected from a commercial autosampler to a flow cytometer. The samples are delivered via a peristaltic pump from source wells in a multiwell plate. The samples are separated by air bubbles.Throughput rates approach the limit of the autosampler (up to 100 wells per minute). Using optimal tubing and flow rates, particles remain within appropriate light scatter and fluorescence gates. The carryover between wells is typically less than 5% without and 1% with a wash step. The volumes of sample delivered are in the microliter scale. The approach has been validated with instruments from three manufacturers.Flow cytometry has potential throughput of 100,000 samples or more per day starting with the method described. The method is currently best suited to end-point assays. However, combined with high-speed sorting and single- cell assays, the number of assays could approach 1 billion per day.Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.