FlowCam® - Flow Imaging Microscopy Blog

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

FlowCam Can Assess Cell Viability Using Fluorescein Diacetate (FDA) Stain

Determining whether algal cells are alive or dead is useful for a variety of applications including, but not limited to: wastewater analysis, algaecide testing, mesocosm experiments, and ballast water monitoring. Viability staining is a common approach used in flow cytometry to evaluate the relative abundance of live and dead cells in a sample. The FlowCam 8400, equipped with a laser, digital camera, and 2 channels of fluorescence detection, can be paired with various fluorescent stains to assess the viability of algal cells. Here we will describe how to pair an example of one such stain, fluorescein diacetate (FDA), with the FlowCam 8400 equipped with a 488nm blue laser.

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Topics: Marine Research, Freshwater Research, FlowCam Technology, Aquaculture, Aquatic Research

Introducing the FlowCam Aquatic Image Galleries

We are happy to announce that we have made available curated galleries of our favorite aquatic images from around the world, in a variety of applications. Are you curious what your water samples would look like when analyzed on the FlowCam? Check out all of the images in our galleries, or peruse below for a sampling of what's available. This is only a small sampling of what the FlowCam is capable of; please contact us if you'd like to see more.

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

New Streamlined FlowCam Supports Shellfish Aquaculture

In order to reduce unnecessary travel and keep our team safe,  we have canceled our foreseeable conference appearances. In lieu of attending the Annual Meeting of the National Shellfisheries Association this month, they have provided us a platform to tell the story of the FlowCam and how it can benefit the Shellfish Aquaculture Industry. What follows below is taken from their quarterly newsletter and explains how the new FlowCam 5000 can support this industry.

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Topics: News and Events, User Spotlight, Aquaculture

Aker BioMarine Purchases FlowCam for use on Krill Harvesting Vessel - Antarctic Endurance.

Aker BioMarine (ABM) is a biotech, fishing, marine research and krill harvesting company. They recently purchased a FlowCam for use on their krill harvesting vessel, the Antarctic Endurance.  They plan to use the FlowCam to monitor the phytoplankton that the krill eat, in order to maintain a sustainable krill fishery.  

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Topics: Marine Research, Aquaculture, Aquatic Research

Boston University Students use FlowCam to Analyze Oyster Habitats from Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island

Nick Ray (PhD Candidate) and Gretchen McCarthy (Senior) from the Boston University Marine Program (BUMP) came to visit our FlowCam lab in Scarborough this week. Nick Ray had used a FlowCam in 2016 in Dr. Robinson Fulweiler's lab when he was a recipient of our Student Equipment Grant. Gretchen has worked in this lab since she was a freshman. She's planning to begin graduate school next year and will focus her studies on fisheries and aquaculture.

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Topics: Marine Research, Aquaculture, Aquatic Research

Norwegian Research Group Studies Krill in Antarctica using the FlowCam

In the Austral Summer of 2018-2019 a Norwegian research group aboard the RV Kronprins Haakon, an ice-breaking polar research vessel, traveled to the Antarctic on a research mission with two objectives: 1) to update the estimate of biomass and distribution of krill off the coast of West Antarctica and 2) to become educated on the marine environment in this area for the purpose of implementing a Feed-Back Management (FBM) system, allowing fishery managers to set catch limits based on current ecosystem health.

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Topics: Marine Research, User Spotlight, Aquaculture, Aquatic Research

FlowCam Assists Harmful Algal Bloom Mitigation in Salmon Aquaculture

In 2016, 23 million salmon died from a harmful algal bloom (HAB) at a farm in Chile.  The economic cost of  that die-off is estimated to have been $800 million.  The impact of such mortality events is serious.  Grieg Seafood is employing cutting-edge technology to expand monitoring, stay ahead of HABs, and keep their fish stocks healthy.

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Topics: Harmful Algal Blooms, Aquaculture

The Oyster's Effect on Silica Cycling and Diatom Abundance in Temperate Estuaries

Nicholas Ray, Boston University PhD Candidate, collecting samples in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, for his study on the oyster's effect on silica cycling and estuarine health. (Credit: Nicholas Ray)

Nicholas Ray, PhD candidate at Boston University, was the 2016 recipient of the Fluid Imaging Technologies student research grant program.  Applicants submit proposals for how they intend to use the FlowCam within the scope of their research, and the winner is awarded the use of a FlowCam for a 4-month period. Fluid Imaging Technologies also provided Ray with a paid registration to the 2017 Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) Conference where he gave an oral presentation on his research. 

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Topics: Marine Research, Freshwater Research, User Spotlight, Aquaculture, Aquatic Research

Salmon Aquaculture Leader Grieg Seafood Purchases 3 FlowCams to Mitigate Harmful Algal Blooms

Historically, Grieg Seafood has relied upon manual microscopy to identify and count algae as they monitored for HABs and to determine if there was a need to employ mitigation strategies. On any given day, there could be upwards of 100 species of algae, and using manual microscopy can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. The quality of the analyzed data is not consistent, and the process is prone to error.

Grieg Salmon Aquaculture pens in Shetland Scotland


Grieg Seafood plans to use the FlowCam to make more informed decisions around HAB monitoring. They have the experience and the judgment to make the right calls. What they need is more data.

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Topics: Harmful Algal Blooms, Aquaculture