FlowCam® - Flow Imaging Microscopy Blog

FlowCam Imaging: Spanning the Range from Submicron to Subvisible to Visible Particles

The recently launched FlowCam Nano extends well-established flow imaging microscopy technology for subvisible particle analysis into the submicron size range. With its unique ability to capture images and analyze particles from 300 nm to 2 µm in diameter, FlowCam Nano technology offers the ability to bridge the gap between different particle analysis techniques. 

FlowCam was originally invented at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences (BLOS) in 1997 by Chris Sieracki, and at the time, it represented the world’s first imaging flow cytometer. It revolutionized the tedious and slow process of manual examination of phytoplankton via microscopy by providing a semi-automated method to rapidly count, measure, and analyze individual cells and particles in a fluid sample using digital images.  

Pictured at right, inventor Chris Sieracki with a FlowCam prototype that was deployed on the dock at Bigelow Labs in the late 90s.

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Topics: Marine Research, FlowCam Technology, 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

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

FlowCam Education: Our Visit to Hurricane Island

Earlier this month, Harry Nelson and I transported a FlowCam by ferry to the Hurricane Island Center for Science & Leadership. This beautiful island is located off the rocky coast of Maine, east of Rockland and southwest of Acadia National Park.

The Center for Science & Leadership, founded in 2009, offers a variety of experiential learning opportunities for students. Hurricane Island itself is public and students will often see visitors moor their boats and explore the the island for a day of adventuring.

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Topics: Marine Research, User Spotlight, Aquatic Research

FlowCam at the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) Conference

Earlier this month, Savannah Judge, one of our Aquatic Markets Experts, co-presented with Kerry Whittaker and LeAnn Whitney of The Corning School of Ocean Studies at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, ME. The topic of the presentation was "Use of high-throughput fluid imaging technology in the field-based undergraduate ocean classroom with FlowCam".

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Topics: Marine Research, News and Events, User Spotlight, Aquatic Research

Zabdiel Roldan Ayala of Queens College Awarded 2021 FlowCam Aquatic Research Equipment & Travel Grant

We are excited to announce that the first of two 2021 FlowCam student grant categories has been awarded to Zabdiel Roldan Ayala, a graduate student studying phytoplankton at Queens College's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

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

VIMS Uses FlowCam to Study HABs to Fulfill their Research Equipment Grant for Graduate Students

This January marked the conclusion of the 2020 FlowCam Research Equipment Grant for Graduate Students. The 2020 award recipient was Savannah Mapes, a graduate student in the Reece Lab at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS).

Mapes (pictured here) used a FlowCam 8000 to study harmful algal blooms (HABs) in the York River/lower Chesapeake Bay area. 

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Topics: Marine Research, Freshwater Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, Aquatic Research

Yokogawa Recognized for Commitment to Global Sustainability

One of the many reasons we at Fluid Imaging Technologies were excited to join the Yokogawa family of companies in 2020, is their commitment to sustainability and the environment.

The FlowCam was invented in the 1990s to study plankton in ocean water and quickly expanded its applications to drug development and life science. Our commitment to science and the health and safety of our planet and global community is the thread that has held our company together since its founding.

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Topics: Marine Research, Freshwater Research, News and Events, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater), Aquatic Research

Insight into the Effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Phytoplankton in the Gulf of Mexico

Researchers Quigg et al. have published a study in Marine Pollution Bulletin summarizing their research on phytoplankton in the Gulf of Mexico, and how these communities were affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The study sought to bring together new insights into the influence of oil and dispersant on phytoplankton, and to make recommendations to curtail negative impacts from future events.

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Topics: Marine Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, Aquatic Research