Flow Imaging Microscopy Blog

Joyce Brown

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Recent Posts

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: Invasive Species, Aquatic Research

Using Particle Shape Analysis to Ensure Quality Control Measures Across Different Industries

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 there is of each type.  A simple particle size distribution, which is typically done using laser diffraction or light obscuration, only gives you size information.  This may be adequate when 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: FlowCam Technology

Grit Characterization Analysis for Wastewater Treatment Plants

Incorporating grit characterization analysis into your wastewater treatment plant design is critical for optimal grit removal. Grit threatens effective treatment through abrasion and accumulation; poor grit removal leads to process inefficiencies and increases electricity costs.
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Topics: Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater), Aquatic Research

Fluid Imaging Technologies Announces FlowCam® Cyano for Early Detection and Monitoring of Cyanobacteria

SCARBOROUGH, Maine – November 12, 2015 – Laboratory instrumentation manufacturer Fluid Imaging Technologies, Scarborough, Maine is pleased to introduce FlowCam® Cyano for the early detection of harmful cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) in fresh bodies of water. Cyanobacteria can produce toxins which can be harmful, even fatal, to humans and animals when large blooms occur. Based on proven dynamic imaging particle analysis (DIPA) technology, the new patent-pending FlowCam Cyano represents the next-generation FlowCam platform. 

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Topics: Harmful Algal Blooms, FlowCam Technology, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater), Aquatic Research

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 utilized for important instrument for:

  • pharmaceutical companies to safeguard efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity of injectable drugs;
  • food and beverage companies to ensure quality ingredients;
  • water utilities for monitoring drinking water supplies to detect odor causing algae;
  • ocean researchers to study and document microscopic life in the earth's oceans 
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Topics: FlowCam Technology

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

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, Abrasives

Detecting Glass Shards in Protein Therapeutics

Lew Brown has added to his ongoing work on thresholding in particle imaging. He recently published a poster at the 2015 Colorado Protein Stability Conference entitled, “Glass Shard Detection in Protein Therapeutics Using Dynamic Imaging Particle Analysis".

Dynamic Imaging Particle Analysis (DIPA) technology is being increasingly used for characterization of other transparent intrinsic particles in biologics such as protein aggregates. Lew's poster details an investigation of using DIPA technology in order to detect glass shards in a protein therapeutic, along with the protein aggregates.

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Topics: Protein Therapeutics, Biopharmaceutical Research

Why FlowCam for Food Particle Analysis?

Taste and texture can't be directly measured, so you need to rely on “tasting panels” in order to gather information on prospective products. This is both time consuming and expensive.

Particle size, and more importantly particle shape, correlate directly to the taste and mouth-feel of food products. FlowCam can help you determine the optimum size and shape of the particles in your product, and then enable you to quickly analyze batches to ensure they meet the standard.

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Topics: Industrial Applications, Food & Beverage