Dynamic Imaging Particle Analysis Blog

FlowCam for climate studies at University of Maine

In March, Heather Wright – a member of our technical support team – conducted FlowCam training at the University of Maine, Orono (UMO) for a team of researchers including Dr. Jasmine Saros and Dr. Andrei Kurbatov. Both Kurbatov and Saros work at the Sawyer Environmental Chemistry Center and conduct research to identify climatic change.

When preparing for trainings, our technical team always discusses the end-user application objectives. We also emphasize the importance of having your field or experimental samples on hand during the training. On this recent training at UMO, we worked with samples ranging from 50 year old pollen grains, preserved phytoplankton and microzooplankton, and tephra particles from volcanic ash that was trapped inside ice cores.

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Topics: Aquatic Research, Particle Size, Imaging

One reason to choose imaging particle analysis over light obscuration

Omontys® – a brand name version of peginesatide – was voluntarily withdrawn from the market less than a year after the product launch. Clinical trials had demonstrated the drug to be safe and efficacious, but over 40 cases of anaphylaxis, and 7 fatalities were reported soon after the product was introduced to the market.

Peginesatide is a man-made form of a protein used to treat anemia in people with chronic kidney disease who are on dialysis. The amount of this protein in the body may be reduced for those who have suffered kidney failure.

A recent article in The Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences (JPS)1 discusses how a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) task force investigated the Omontys events with several particle analyzers, including the FlowCam®.

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Topics: Particle Analyzer, Protein Therapeutics, Particle Characterization, Particle Shape, Imaging

Using dynamic imaging to monitor HAB in the Gulf of Mexico

There is a large harmful algal bloom (HAB) that began off the western coast of Florida and has slowly spread throughout the Gulf over the past few months.

We're pleased to learn that University of Southern Mississippi scientist Adam Boyette uses a FlowCam dynamic imaging particle analysis instrument to characterize the phytoplankton community and monitor HAB.

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Topics: Aquatic Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, Particle Characterization, Imaging

Dynamic imaging particle analysis for invasive species detection

According to a recent bulletin from The Columbia Basin Fish & Wildlife News, quagga and zebra mussels that have taken over many of the waterways in central and eastern areas of the United States and Canada, especially in the Great Lakes, aren’t the only aquatic invasive species that have biologists worried. Invasive plankton or copepods have been taking over Northwest waters for over two decades.

Stephen Bollens of Washington State University's School of the Environment, says the good news about zebra and quagga mussels is that out of 300 samples from boats in the Northwest processed in 2014 and 2015 using a FlowCam, there had been no detections of the invasive species.

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Topics: Algae Research, Freshwater Algae, Dynamic Imaging Particle Analysis, Invasive Species, Imaging

Particle shape analysis for quality control

Most materials are made up of many different particle types of varying shapes and sizes.  When characterizing these particles, your goal is to figure out how much of each type is contained.  A simple particle size distribution, which is typically done using laser diffraction or light obscuration, only gives you size information.  This is fine if you have a uniform mixture, but what if you have particles of similar size that are different shapes?  If that’s the case, then you should use a method that can analyze particle shape.  

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Topics: Particle Analyzer, Industrial Applications, Dynamic Imaging Particle Analysis, Food & Beverage Applications

The importance of grit removal and grit particle analysis

Envirotec published this recent article about the importance of grit removal. Grit is an important topic if your job is to detect, characterize, and quantify grit particulate at a wastewater treatment plant. Particle size is an important criteria, but characteristics like shape and specific gravity can also affect grit particle settling velocity.
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Topics: Process Water, Particle Analyzer, Industrial Applications, Dynamic Imaging Particle Analysis, Imaging

The top 5 questions to consider when choosing a particle analyzer

It’s no surprise that there are many technologies available for particle analysis. Particle sizing and characterization are critical components of many processes across a wide range of applications.

An imaging particle analyzer is an important instrument for; 

  • water utilities for monitoring drinking water supplies to detect odor causing algae
  • pharmaceutical companies to safeguard efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity of injectable drugs
  • food and beverage companies to ensure quality ingredients 
  • ocean researchers to study and document microscopic life in the earth's oceans 
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Topics: Algae Research, Industrial Applications, Protein Therapeutics, Cyanobacteria, Particle Size, Particle Shape, Imaging

Copepod as seen in video mode on a FlowCam

On a recent visit to the Coastal School for Girls in Freeport, Maine for a classroom demonstration of the FlowCam, we captuted this video. This feisty little copepod is roughly 500µm in size. The FlowCam was operating in video mode at the time.


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Topics: Aquatic Research

Detecting and monitoring HABs in an Oregon river to ensure safe water

The Oregon Health Authority recently issued a health advisory after finding high levels of blue-green algae -- in this case, anabaena -- in the Clackamas Cove portion of the Clackamas River. Thankfully, the algae bloom is about four miles past the Clackamas River Water (CRW) drinking water intakes and did not affect the drinking water. 

When algae populations explode they can create harmful algae blooms (HABs). HABs are mostly fueled by excess nutrients in area waterways from various places like agriculture, sewage treatment plants, and runoff from lawns and paved surfaces. 

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Topics: Algae Research, Cyanobacteria

Why FlowCam for Micronized Diamonds?

A manufacturer of micronized diamonds used the FlowCam to ensure a new batch met their desired specifications – at least 95% of the diamond particles needed to have a uniform, smooth perimeter.

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Topics: Industrial Applications