FlowCam - Flow Imaging Microscopy Blog

What is FlowCam?

People often ask us, "What is FlowCam?" and we answer with one of the following:

  • a flow imaging microscope
  • an imaging particle analyzer
  • a high-throughput dynamic microscope

Really, FlowCam is all of these things!

FlowCam is a precision instrument that captures high-resolution digital images of subvisible particles and microorganisms in a flowing liquid. With FlowCam, you can learn everything you need to know about the particles in your sample, including their size and shape, and how many there are of each type -and  FlowCam can do all of this within minutes!

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Topics: FlowCam Technology

Achieve Your Flow Imaging Microscopy Goals with our FlowCam Analytical Lab Team

Our team of particle analysis experts is ready to help you achieve your particle analysis goals across a broad array of applications ranging from biopharmaceutical and aquatic sciences to smart materials and food and beverage quality control. With our full suite of next-generation FlowCam instruments, our analytical lab is your one-stop resource for technology assessment, method development, and customized application testing. Our depth of experience with flow imaging microscopy and image-based particle characterization allows us to develop solutions tailored to your specific analytical needs.  

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Topics: FlowCam Technology

What is Flow Imaging Microscopy?

Flow Imaging Microscopy is a fast and automated method to see highly-resolved digital images of microscopic particles in a flowing liquid. Using FlowCam, you can very quickly learn about the size, count, shape, and identity of the particles in your sample.

Flow Imaging Microscopy began as a novel concept when the first flow imaging microscope – FlowCam – was developed at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Then-available tools, a microscope for plankton identification and a flow cytometer for counting, were time-consuming and labor-intensive, so the scientists at Bigelow sought to develop a better method.

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Topics: FlowCam Technology

VisualSpreadsheet 6.0.2 Improves Data Processing Speeds

VisualSpreadsheet® is FlowCam's powerful, customizable software program featuring interactive particle image and data analysis. We recently released VisualSpreadsheet Version 6.0.2, which is now available for all FlowCam instruments currently running VisualSpreadsheet 6. Please get in touch with us about upgrades if your FlowCam is currently running VisualSpreadsheet 4 or 5.

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Topics: News and Events, FlowCam Technology, VisualSpreadsheet

Color vs. Black and White: How to Choose a FlowCam Camera

While most imaging particle analyzers are equipped with black and white (monochrome) cameras for image acquisition, FlowCam 8100 instruments offer a choice of either black and white or color cameras.

Each configuration performs differently in common particle analysis tasks like particle sizing and morphology analysis. It is important to select the appropriate set-up for your specific application and particle analysis goal.

This technical note will describe the strengths and weaknesses of each camera choice and discuss which is better suited for specific applications. 

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Topics: FlowCam Technology

FlowCam Part of GlobalHAB Symposium Intercomparison Study

GlobalHAB is an international scientific program on harmful algal blooms (HABs) that fosters collaborative research efforts aimed at understanding and predicting HAB events in aquatic ecosystems while also providing scientific data to help manage and mitigate their impacts. As part of their efforts to provide a structure for planning and coordinating international activities related to HAB research, the program recently facilitated the GlobalHAB Symposium on Automated Observations of Plankton. FlowCam team members, Savannah Judge and Nicole Gill, traveled to the Kristineberg Marine Research Station in Fiskebäckskil, Sweden to participate. The center’s boat basin is pictured below.

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

FlowCam Goes West: A Visit to Breckenridge, Colorado

The Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado hosts the annual Colorado Protein Stability Conference, providing a unique opportunity for scientists working on protein stability to convene and share their research. This year marked the return of the conference for the first time since 2019.

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Topics: Protein Therapeutics, News and Events, FlowCam Technology

Fiber Analysis with Flow Imaging Microscopy

Geometry can play a crucial role in the performance of fibers in different applications. Shape factors that influence performance include length (i.e. size of the longest dimension of the fiber), width (i.e. size of the shortest dimension), and curl. Despite the importance of fiber geometry, many conventional particle sizing measurements struggle to accurately capture the morphology of these particles.

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Topics: Materials Applications, FlowCam Technology

McCrone Associates Adds FlowCam to their Suite of Analytical Instruments

The analytical lab at McCrone Associates (Westmont, IL) specializes in materials characterization and identification of particle contaminants and microscopic defects in a wide range of industrial and pharmaceutical materials. 

Historically, McCrone has not focused on enumeration. Their strengths have been in identifying materials at the micro- and nanometer scale using a variety of analytical techniques. With the addition of FlowCam to their analytical lab, they can now expand their enumeration capabilities by supplementing their current process with size distribution and concentration data. Additionally, morphological results from FlowCam will be directly correlated with the traditional microscopy-based results and identifications thereby enhancing the quality and statistical accuracy provided by particle enumeration projects. 

“There is great value in seeing images of the particles and of the actual contaminants,” says Dr. Craig Schwandt, Director of Industrial Services and Senior Research Scientist at McCrone Associates. “It allows us to identify particle type and particle source via morphology, which increases the strength of the finding.”

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Topics: Materials Applications, FlowCam Technology, User Spotlight, Biopharmaceutical Research

FlowCam at IFPAC 2022: Presenting Technological Innovations in Flow Imaging Microscopy

IFPAC, the International Forum for Process Analytical Chemistry, holds an annual conference that brings together scientists working in Process Analytical Technologies, QbD, Process Understanding & Control, and Real-Time Analytics. Professionals in these fields meet in person to discuss the latest trends and get ideas for the future of the industry. Research is presented in applications ranging from biopharmaceuticals to chemicals to food and beverage.

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Topics: Materials Applications, Protein Therapeutics, News and Events, FlowCam Technology, Food & Beverage, Biopharmaceutical Research, Nanoparticles