Propel Labs

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Propel Labs has partnered with Bio-Rad labs who now offers the S3e High Performance Bench-Top Cell Sorter (formerly Avalon Cell Sorter). The S3e is an automated benchtop cell sorter featuring either one or two lasers and up to four flourescence detectors plus forward- and side-scatter detectors.

Download S3e Cell Sorter Brochure

For more information on the S3e, please click here

  • Simplified instrument setup – automated drop delay calculation and droplet break-off monitoring enables precision 1-4 color sorting with minimal training.
  • Compact design – dimensions of only 70 x 65 x 65 cm (2.3 x 2.1 x 2.1 ft) including onboard fluidics and temperature control system.
  • Reduced carryover – dual-position loading stage ensures the sample line remains clean between sorting runs.
  • 2-way cell sorting – sort two different defined populations at the same time.
  • High speed and high purity – sort cells fast while maintaining high sensitivity and purity.
  • Intuitive interface – user-friendly ProSort software enables effortless instrument control and sort logic definition.
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  • Two-way Sorting
    • 5mL Tubes (5 tubes per direction)
    • 8-well strips
    • Microscope slides
  • 100,000 eps Analysis
  • 30,000 eps Sorting @ 99% Purity
Fully Automated
  • Auto Alignment
  • Auto Drop Delay
  • Auto Droplet Monitoring

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  • Administrator and User Modes
  • Automated Daily QC Including:
    • Auto Alignment
    • Auto Drop Delay and Monitoring
    • Auto Stream Adjustment
  • Auto Start Up
  • Auto Compensation
  • Reporting Options
    • Quality Control and Trending
    • System Usage
    • Sort Statistics

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The Avalon cell sorter offers additional options for increased operator safety with the Biosafety Class I System.

  • Bulk fluidics and sample access doors
  • All four side panels can be opened
  • Magnetic attachment
  • Gap between panels and base allows for inward airflow

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Specs & Data

System Performance

  • Acquisition Rate: 100,000 events per second
  • Sort Rate: 30,000 events per second
  • Sort Purity: >99%
  • Sensitivity: < 125 MESF for FITC and PE
  • Temperature Control: Sample input and sort output from 4-30°C


  • Lasers:
    • Primary Laser: 488nm; 100mW
    • Optional Secondary Laser: 561nm; 100mW
  • Scatter Detection: 2 parameters (FSC and SSC PMTs); FSC resolution < 0.5µm
  • Fluorescence Detection: 2-4 parameters (with PMTs) and user changeable filters


  • Nozzle: 100µm
  • Pressure: 30psi
  • Sheath: On-board dilution of 8x sheath concentrate or direct use of 1x sheath
  • Agitation: Adjustable sample agitation


  • Directions: 2-way
  • Modes: Single, purify, enrichment
  • Sort Collection: 5 x 5mL or 1.5mL tubes each direction; microscope slides
  • Micro-Well Collection: 8-well strip each direction


  • Description: Core i5 Quad Core, 4GB RAM, 250GB HDD
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Pro x64
  • Monitor: 24″ LCD; 1920×1080 resolution

Installation Requirements

  • Dimensions: 70 cm wide x 65 cm tall x 65 cm deep (instrument only)
  • Weight: 90 kg (instrument only)
  • Electrical: 100-230VAC; 50-60Hz
  • Temperature: Ambient temperature range of 18-25°C
  • Humidity: 20-70% RH
  • Noise: <60dBA while in operation
  • Pressure: Included in system
  • Vacuum: Included in system


  • AES: Buffalo Filter Aerosol Management System
  • Biosafety Cabinet: Custom Class II Baker Biosafety Cabinet
  • Printer: Color laser printer

Regulatory Status

  • Electrical: CE marked for Electrical Safety (Europe)
  • Laser: Class I (1) laser product per CDRH regulations an EN/IEC 60825-1

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Carol Oxford
Technical Director, UCD Flow Cytometry Shared Resource
University of California, Davis

“The Avalon is a unique machine that fills a huge and currently empty gap in the cell sorting market. I was very impressed first with the size of the sorter; it’s fully contained without anything connected except for the computer, no extraneous fluidics cart to take up space. It’s extremely well designed, the sample station and the sort chamber are fully enclosed and the optical filters are easy to get to if needed. The sensitivity is very good; we could even see APC very well off the 561 laser. The software is really excellent; it’s so easy to use. It takes very little explanation for the user, even a novice user, to be able to set up an experiment and begin sorting with little training. The drop delay is automatically calculated and maintained. So easy! Since much of the sorting done in a core is four colors or less, I think this sorter is an excellent addition to a core lab. With budgets so tight, this is going to allow labs who can’t possibly afford the larger sorters, even with a similar laser and PMT configuration, to afford to sort. I could definitely use a couple of these in my core!”

Karen Helm
Manager, Flow Cytometry Shared Resource
University of Colorado Cancer Center
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

“I was very impressed with the concept of the Avalon- an affordable cell sorter that is robust and truly high-speed. Upon test-driving, I found the software to be straight-forward and intuitive. The instrument is designed to be user-friendly so that a basic user can set up and sort without the help of a dedicated staff person. I especially liked the methodology for setting the drop delay. I feel that the Avalon drop delay method has built-in quality control and is more comparable to the gold-standard for setting drop delay (puddles-on-a-slide viewed with a microscope) than other automated drop-delay methods. The Avalon is a powerful cell sorter with a budget price tag.”

Vasilis Toxavidis
HSCI Core Flow Facility

“I must admit that I was impressed and was not expecting to see a sorter that meets expectations in a small package. From the design to the technical considerations, the instrument seems to encompass my favorite saying…”less is more”. I was able to see the instrument without the skins and witness firsthand the innovative design. From the optics to the electronics to the fluidics this instrument was designed with the end user in mind. Through the innovative software the administrator can set up the machine for the end user in no time at all. You don’t need to be a flow guru anymore in order to perform cell sorting. Overall an excellent product which I expect to make a significant impact in to the cell sorting world…..simplicity by innovation.”

Alistaire Acosta
Professional Research Assistant University of Colorado Cancer Center
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

“The Avalon was a treat to operate. It’s apparent a lot of thought went into its design. I was impressed that the Propel team didn’t sacrifice performance or features while creating a low-cost compact walk-up sorter. Your method of calculating drop-delay with positive events and actual detection instills a lot of confidence over the other “theoretical” methods. I would love to get an Avalon in the lab and put it through its paces.”