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Mack Fulwyler

Mack Fulwyler’s invention of the electrostatic cell sorter may well be one of the most significant inventions in the field of cell analysis. While there are many outstanding inventors and scientists in the Society, it was Mack Fulwyler whose transformational innovation made possible the development of the field. As Marvin Van Dilla explained…

“This was Mack’s very brilliant idea, and he ran with the ball pretty much by himself. He did something I admire very much in science. He combined 2 totally disconnected ideas, the Coulter Counter (invented by Wallace Coulter) which counts red blood cells, and the ink jet oscillograph (invented by Dick Sweet), for an entirely different purpose, namely, sorting cells.”

Presented here are historic papers, photos and video footage, including Fulwyler’s Ph.D. dissertation and lab notes from his 1964 visit to Dick Sweet’s lab and several weeks following.

Historic Instrument Photos

A description of the photos.


Mack Fulwyler explains: Why did he build a cell sorter?


Mack Fulwyler and Dick Sweet on the patents on flow cytometry sorting.

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Flow cytometry, the invention: impact on world health