FlowCam - Flow Imaging Microscopy Blog

Top Research Studies Comparing the FlowCam to Light Microscopy

Most organizations who are considering the purchase of a FlowCam ask themselves this question: how does the FlowCam compare to traditional light microscopy? They know that using a FlowCam is faster than using a microscope, and it's possible to produce larger amounts of data, but is the FlowCam as accurate?

Can it correctly calculate biomass, biovolume, and identify organisms? We don't want you to take our word for it, so we have gathered a selection of published studies that explore this very question. Please enjoy these summaries, and feel free to contact us for access to the full papers.

Top Studies Comparing FlowCam to Light Microscopy

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

Our Most Popular Blog Posts of 2019

We use our Flow Imaging Microscopy blog as a platform to bring you relevant news and academic research, as well as highlighting developments and new uses of FlowCam technology. This year we published 68 blog posts on a large variety of subjects. Keep reading to see the countdown to the most popular post of 2019.

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Topics: Industrial Applications, Protein Therapeutics, Marine Research, News and Events, Harmful Algal Blooms, FlowCam Technology, Aquatic Research, Biopharmaceutical Research

The FlowCam Cyano for automated analysis of algae and cyanobacteria

Based on proven FlowCam® technology, the FlowCam Cyano automatically identifies cyanobacteria from other algae and particles in aquatic samples. Using a patent-pending combination of excitation wavelength, phycocyanin fluorescence measurement, and image recognition software, the system automates what was previously done using manual microscopy. After differentiating the cyanobacteria from the other algae in the sample, VisualSpreadsheet and Advanced Classifier software can be used to further characterize specific types of algae found in the sample using 40+ physical parameters. 

Keep reading to view our new video and see the inner workings of the FlowCam Cyano, as well as a detailed demonstration of VisualSpreadsheet's automated classification process.

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

Answering Your FAQs about Analyzing Microcystis with the FlowCam

FlowCam customers frequently ask us how to optimize analysis of Microcystis, a globally pervasive colonial cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) which is seen in source water systems and recreational lakes. The colonies can range in size from a few microns up to several thousand microns in diameter. Customers are concerned about losing part of the sample or not being able to capture a quality image due to the colony’s size and density. Dense colonies superimpose cells in the image, making it easy to underestimate cell counts, while large colonies can make it challenging to determine what objective is best used to image the sample.

Question:  What protocol does Fluid Imaging recommend to analyze colonies and scums of Microcystis?

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

Using the FlowCam to Study Harmful Algae Blooms Around Sanibel Island, Florida

It's hard to imagine a more picturesque location from which to perform one's research than Sanibel Island, Florida. However, as can be seen in the picture at the right, our most beautiful places are not exempt from the effects of climate change. Pictured here is what is commonly known as "red tide", but to Dr. Eric Milbrandt and the researchers at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) is known to be an algal bloom caused by the phytoplankton Karenina brevis.

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Topics: Marine Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, User Spotlight, Aquatic Research

Celebrating 20 Years in Business: Special Delivery of New FlowCams to Bigelow Labs

As part of our 20th anniversary celebration, all 30 Fluid Imaging employees traveled together to hand-deliver two new FlowCam instruments to the lab where the FlowCam was invented, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences (BLOS) in East Boothbay, Maine.

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Topics: News and Events, Harmful Algal Blooms, FlowCam Technology

FlowCam at Bigelow Labs: Flow Imaging vs Manual Microscopy and the study of HABs

Every summer since 2015 scientists from around the country have come to Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine to be trained in harmful algae taxonomy and identification. This training course project is part of NOAA NCCOS’s Monitoring and Event Response for Harmful Algal Blooms (MERHAB) program and is lead by Dr. Michael Lomas.  Bigelow provides the theoretical and hands-on training to our next generation of HAB scientists so that they have the proper tools to effectively and accurately identify HAB species.

Pictured here: phyto- and zooplankton imaged by the FlowCam off the Maine coast

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Topics: Harmful Algal Blooms, Aquatic Research

What is that Algal Bloom in Casco Bay?

Yesterday Heather Anne Wright and I were invited to join the Friends of Casco Bay on a mission to track down and capture samples of the algae bloom taking place in Casco Bay.  Mike Doan skippered the Baykeeper, while Will Everitt and Ivy Fignoca accompanied the group this afternoon on a ride out to Chebeague Island.

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Topics: Marine Research, Invasive Species, Harmful Algal Blooms, Aquatic Research

Top 6 FlowCam Studies on Cyanobacteria

Our ability to predict and prevent harmful algal blooms is directly related to our ability to study and understand cyanobacteria.  Numerous studies have used the FlowCam to rapidly enumerate, image, and aid in the identification of harmful algae present in water samples to better track, trend and predict blooms. We've collected our favorite studies on cyanobacteria into one document that features synopses of the following papers:

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

FlowCam Part of Integrated Approach to Eliminate Taste and Odor Events in Wichita Falls, TX

March 2019 — Harmful algal bloom (HAB) season is fast approaching. The City of Wichita Falls, Texas, however, has developed an integrated approach to monitor HABs that has prevented taste and odor events for the past two years.  Featured in the December 2018 issue of OpFlow, and now in the Jan/Feb 2019 issue of Texas H2O, the City of Wichita Falls shares its integrated approach to answer the following questions: 

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