FlowCam® - Flow Imaging Microscopy Blog

Sarah Isakson

Recent Posts

FlowCam Customer Methodologies to be Presented at the 2nd Annual Virtual Harmful Algal Bloom Research Symposium

In early January, the Algal Bloom Action Team, a collaboration of water professionals, researchers, and educators from twelve states in the North Central Region of the United States is hosting its 2nd annual Virtual Harmful Algal Bloom Research Symposium. Team members include the national network of Water Resources Research Institutes (WRRI), the North Central Region Water Network, and university extensions within each state in the North Central Region. The free-to-attend symposium will bring together researchers from across the US to present and discuss the latest developments in HAB research and outreach. Presentations will cover four different topics:

  • HAB Monitoring and Ecology
  • Cyanotoxin Treatment and Detection
  • Forecasting and Modeling HABs
  • Emerging Technology for Detecting and Monitoring HABs
Virtual Harmful Algal Bloom Research Symposium 2022
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Topics: Freshwater Research, News and Events, Harmful Algal Blooms, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater), User Spotlight, Aquatic Research

Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians Integrate FlowCam into Environmental Stewardship Programs

The Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians (CTCLUSI) recently received long-awaited funding to purchase a FlowCam Cyano instrument, after first learning about FlowCam at an east coast workshop a few years ago. CTCLUSI makes up three tribes (4 bands) who all reside in close proximity to one another along the Coos River Tributaries in Oregon. According to the CTCLUSI website:

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Topics: Marine Research, Freshwater Research, Invasive Species, Harmful Algal Blooms, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater), User Spotlight, Aquatic Research

Community Groups Take HAB Monitoring Into Their Own Hands, Recognize Need for Formal Strategic Guidelines

Harmful algal blooms can have a detrimental effect on the environment and on human and animal health. As a result of climate change, water utilities are experiencing these events with increasing frequency. Historically, many water monitoring agencies have not had a plan in place to proactively monitor for cyanobacteria, but rather found themselves reacting to the effects of a bloom after the fact.

Last month, the US EPA released a report that addresses concerns within the agency about the lack of a cohesive, agency-wide plan to monitor freshwater bodies for harmful algal blooms (HABs):

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Topics: Freshwater Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater), User Spotlight, Aquatic Research

Comparing FlowCam Results with Light Obscuration: A Study by Japan's National Institute of Health Sciences

In their recent publication, Quantitative Evaluation of Insoluble Particulate Matters in Therapeutic Protein Injections Using Light Obscuration and Flow Imaging Methods, Shibata et. al. compare the ability of Light Obscuration and Flow Imaging to detect and accurately characterize subvisible particles in injectable drugs.

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Topics: Protein Therapeutics, FlowCam Technology, User Spotlight, Biopharmaceutical Research

Austin Water Uses FlowCam to Detect Harmful Algal Blooms

Austin Water, the City of Austin, Texas' water utility, recently purchased a FlowCam Cyano instrument. Austin Water first learned about the advantages of flow imaging microscopy from employee Misty Klein (pictured here).

When Misty moved to the City of Austin, she understood that image analysis with FlowCam would be essential to Austin Water's strategy to prevent harmful algal blooms. She recommended FlowCam Cyano to her colleagues and received funding to purchase an instrument in 2021.

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New FlowCam Technical Notes: Using Preservatives with Phytoplankton Samples

Aquatic scientists often need to store natural samples for a period of time before processing them using FlowCam. There are multiple preservatives available for this purpose. Glutaraldehyde is a
popular choice of preservative because it will preserve pigment autofluorescence, and therefore allows the use of FlowCam's "Trigger Mode" to automatically distinguish cyanobacteria from other algae, and reduce images of detritus and other non fluorescing particles. Another preservative often used is Lugol's solution, which does not preserve fluorescence, but is less toxic and requires less stringent storage conditions.

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

FlowCam Used to Study Algae Cultures: Training New Users on Gran Canaria

This week FlowCam Applications Scientist, Kay Johnson, visited the Canary Islands to train a new team of FlowCam users at ITC (Instituto Tecnólogico de Canarias). ITC in Pozo Izquierdo is using a FlowCam 8400 with 488nm laser to monitor marine phytoplankton. The team was originally trained by Nicole Gill when they first purchased the FlowCam in 2019, but this year a new group of scientists from Italy and Serbia have joined their team. 

Pictured here (left to right): Kay Johnson, Flavio Guidi, Tonia Principe, Marianna Venuleo, Maca Golezalaz, Zivan Gojkovic 

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Topics: Industrial Applications, Algae Technology, Marine Research, User Spotlight, Aquaculture, Aquatic Research

Top FlowCam Studies for the Biopharmaceutical Industry

Flow Imaging Microscopy is currently recommended by the USP as an orthogonal analytical method for biopharmaceuticals. It has yet to be integrated into every drug development and testing laboratory however. Integrating new technologies upstream in the formulation development process continues to be an essential path for improving the safety and efficiency of the drug development. Once new methods and technologies are proven and accepted upstream, it's possible to pave the way for new technologies to be implemented downstream and beyond. 

Hundreds of biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical companies worldwide are now using the FlowCam to improve the quality, safety and stability of their formulations. Since most teams purchasing an analytical instrument for their lab want to read studies conducted by other scientists, we have gathered a collection of the top influential studies using the FlowCam to demonstrate how they are integrating Flow Imaging Microscopy into their research.

Top FlowCam Studies for Biopharma

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Topics: Protein Therapeutics, FlowCam Technology, User Spotlight, Biopharmaceutical Research

Morphological Filter Discrimination of Particulates in Injectable Therapeutic Formulations

Pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical laboratories require rigid characterization of the particulate matter in injectable therapeutics. FlowCam technology offers a benchtop imaging particle analysis tool with unique software features that can discriminate particles based on morphological properties. The data obtained from FlowCam analysis can be used to verify the quality and integrity of parenteral drugs.

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Topics: Protein Therapeutics, Biopharmaceutical Research

Greater Cincinnati Water Works Uses FlowCam Cyano to Monitor Source Water

Applications Scientist, Kay Johnson has spent this week in Cincinnati training new FlowCam users at the Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) on their new FlowCam Cyano. GCWW is located on the Ohio River across the water from Kentucky. They will be using the FlowCam Cyano to count and categorize cyanobacteria and other phytoplankton populations both before and after treatment.

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Topics: Harmful Algal Blooms, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater), User Spotlight