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Supplementary information files for Assessment of Automated Flow Cytometry Data Analysis Tools within Cell and Gene Therapy Manufacturing

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posted on 07.06.2022, 13:03 by Melissa CheungMelissa Cheung, Jonathan Campbell, Rob ThomasRob Thomas, Julian Braybrook, Jon PetzingJon Petzing

Supplementary information files for article Assessment of Automated Flow Cytometry Data Analysis Tools within Cell and Gene Therapy Manufacturing

Flow cytometry is widely used within the manufacturing of cell and gene therapies to measure and characterise cells. Conventional manual data analysis relies heavily on operator judgement, presenting a major source of variation that can adversely impact the quality and predictive potential of therapies given to patients. Computational tools have the capacity to minimise operator variation and bias in flow cytometry data analysis; however, in many cases, confidence in these technologies has yet to be fully established mirrored by aspects of regulatory concern. Here, we employed synthetic flow cytometry datasets containing controlled population characteristics of separation, and normal/skew distributions to investigate the accuracy and reproducibility of six cell population identification tools, each of which implement different unsupervised clustering algorithms: Flock2, flowMeans, FlowSOM, PhenoGraph, SPADE3 and SWIFT (density-based, k-means, self-organising map, k-nearest neighbour, deterministic k-means, and model-based clustering, respectively). We found that outputs from software analysing the same reference synthetic dataset vary considerably and accuracy deteriorates as the cluster separation index falls below zero. Consequently, as clusters begin to merge, the flowMeans and Flock2 software platforms struggle to identify target clusters more than other platforms. Moreover, the presence of skewed cell populations resulted in poor performance from SWIFT, though FlowSOM, PhenoGraph and SPADE3 were relatively unaffected in comparison. These findings illustrate how novel flow cytometry synthetic datasets can be utilised to validate a range of automated cell identification methods, leading to enhanced confidence in the data quality of automated cell characterisations and enumerations. 


EPSRC/MRC Doctoral Training Centre for Regenerative Medicine at Loughborough University (EP/L105072/1)



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering