Flow Imaging Microscopy Blog

Congress Asks for Robust Funding in 2020 to Support Harmful Algae Research

In December 2018, U.S. Congress submitted a letter signed by 61 Congressional Members to the Office of Management and Budget to lobby for increased funding to support harmful algal bloom (HAB) research in 2020.

HAB events are widespread and their effects are diverse. Coordinated studies released in 2017 by the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed that 39% of all lakes nationwide contained toxic algae, and cyanobacteria-produced toxins were present in 78% of those lakes at some point during the year. Additionally, 40% more HAB events were reported in 2018 than in 2017. 

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Topics: Aquatic Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, Marine Research, Freshwater Research

Baker Hughes Study Demonstrates a New, Quick Method for Produced Water Analysis

A study by Baker Hughes demonstrates that the FlowCam® imaging particle analysis technology is a more informative method than spectrophotometry to evaluate the demulsification of produced water. Produced water generated during oil extraction is held in skim tanks where it is treated with water clarifiers or demulsifiers. Reverse emulsion breakers (REBs) coalesce the oil into larger molecules to be skimmed, or removed, from the produced water. The efficacy of REBs and other water clarifiers on produced water is important because oil extraction companies must meet water quality environmental regulations before releasing produced water back into the environment, or they require a low oil content if the water is to be reused in the extraction process. 

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Topics: User Spotlight, FlowCam Technology, Industrial Applications

We are attending the European Workshop on Protein Aggregation and Immunogenicity

The 4th Annual European Workshop on Protein Aggregation and Immunogenicity will be held in Salzburg-Wals, Austria on January 28 and 29.  This conference serves as a European summit for thought leaders and academic researchers to come together and discuss the issues of protein aggregation and its effects on the immunogenicity of therapeutic protein drug products. We are excited to attend and exhibit the FlowCam imaging particle analyzer with our German distributor, Anasysta.

Proteins and contaminants from a parenteral drug sample, imaged and analyzed by the FlowCam.

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Topics: Nanoparticles, Biopharmaceutical Research, News and Events

FlowCam and VisualSpreadsheet 5.0 Workshop at ASLO Puerto Rico 2019

We will soon be releasing VisualSpreadsheet (ViSP) 5.0, a significant advancement of the FlowCam software.  With ViSP 5.0 you will be able to organize your FlowCam files in a database format, allowing you to analyze multiple runs simultaneously as well as compare and contrast data sets.  This will be especially useful for time-series analyses, longitudinal studies, trend analysis, etc.

    

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Topics: News and Events, Marine Research, Freshwater Research

Biotherapeutic Reformulation Achieved Through Extended Particle Analysis

Proteinaceous particles in parenteral drugs pose an immunogenic risk. These formulations are therefore rigorously characterized for optimal conformational and colloidal stability of the drug molecule. As such, they undergo thorough analysis of biophysical descriptors and extended particle characterization to ensure a safe and stable product is delivered to market with a shelf life of about two years. In this post, we summarize a recent paper by Mattison et al. (2018) published in BioProcess International on how they successfully reformulated biotherapeutics by using quantitative stability predictors and descriptors. 

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Topics: Biopharmaceutical Research, Protein Therapeutics, User Spotlight

Most Popular Flow Imaging Microscopy Blog Posts of 2018

We use our Flow Imaging Microscopy blog as a platform to serve up the latest in relevant news, highlight novel uses of the FlowCam, and announce FlowCam technology developments. This year we blogged about 54 different topics. Below is a recap of the Top 10 Most Read Blog Posts of 2018. 

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Topics: News and Events, Aquatic Research, Biopharmaceutical Research, FlowCam Technology, Marine Research, Protein Therapeutics, Harmful Algal Blooms

Fooled copepods ingest dimethyl sulfide-infused microplastics

December 2018 — Can microplastics be mistaken for algae? A recent study by the University of Plymouth and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory demonstrated that nylon microfibers can acquire dimethyl sulfide (DMS), a compound produced by algae, when environmentally exposed to the compound. The study also showed that Calanus helgolandicus, a chemosensing copepod that uses DMS to locate algae, their normal food source, more readily ingested microplastic fibers infused with DMS (Fig. 1).  The FlowCam was used to enumerate the microplastic fibers and evaluate microplastic fiber uptake during the experiment. 

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Topics: Aquatic Research, User Spotlight, Marine Research

FlowCam for the Continuous Improvement of Manufacturing Process: A Case Study

A client in the biopharmaceutical market recently learned how the FlowCam is perfectly suited to visualize translucent plastic particles that may enter into their production process. They were frustrated with traditional microscopy that was not effective at visualizing microparticles. They turned to the FlowCam to troubleshoot their manufacturing process and were able to compare old and new data sets allowing for continuous improvement.

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Topics: User Spotlight, Industrial Applications, Biopharmaceutical Research

New High-Throughput Method for Elastin-like Polymer (ELP) Coacervate Analysis

December 2018 — A recent study by researchers from the University of New England and University of New Hampshire has demonstrated that flow imaging microscopy is an accurate, more efficient, and more informative method of elastin-like polymer (ELP) coacervate analysis than standard methods. ELP coacervates are a class of molecules with promising applications in drug delivery vehicles, tissue engineering, environmental remediation, and more. ELP coacervate architecture is stimuli-responsive and highly tunable, making them ideal for the above-mentioned applications.  


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Topics: Nanoparticles, User Spotlight, Industrial Applications, Biopharmaceutical Research

Atypical Manufacturer Thrives in Atypical Manufacturing Hub: Chief Executive Magazine Interviews Our CEO Kent Peterson

Making it Work in Maine. Chief Executive Magazine recently interviewed Kent Peterson on how a small manufacturing company can thrive in Maine through innovation, continuous improvement and teamwork.

Read the article here and see what it takes for a small Maine company to be successful on a global basis.

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Topics: News and Events