FlowCam® - Flow Imaging Microscopy Blog

A novel method for monitoring cell-specific lipid accumulation with FlowCam® and Nile Red stain

Continued research in biofuel technologies and algae cultivation has increased demand for techniques to monitor and quantify cell- and species-specific lipid accumulation in photosynthetic phytoplankton.

A study from the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) and the University of Helsinki compared a new method of cell-specific phytoplankton lipid accumulation using Nile Red staining and the FlowCam with two existing lipid quantification methods: spectrofluorometric Nile Red fluorescence measurement and total lipid analysis by gas chromatography (Natunen et al., 2017).

Natunen et al. (2017) found significant correlation between the three methods and confirmed the applicability of the FlowCam method for cell-specific and near real-time lipid quantification.

Read the full abstract here.

Learn how the FlowCam can be utilized to monitor lipid accumulation of algae.


Natunen, K., Seppälä, J., Koivula, R.-J., Pellinen, J. (2017), Monitoring cell-specific neutral lipid accumulation in Phaeodactylum tricornutum (Bacillariophyceae) with Nile Red staining – a new method for FlowCAM. Journal of Phycology. doi: 10.1111/jpy.12504


Topics: Algae Technology, Aquatic Research