Flow Imaging Microscopy Blog

New High-Throughput Method for Elastin-like Polymer (ELP) Coacervate Analysis

December 2018 — A recent study by researchers from the University of New England and University of New Hampshire has demonstrated that flow imaging microscopy is an accurate, more efficient, and more informative method of elastin-like polymer (ELP) coacervate analysis than standard methods. ELP coacervates are a class of molecules with promising applications in drug delivery vehicles, tissue engineering, environmental remediation, and more. ELP coacervate architecture is stimuli-responsive and highly tunable, making them ideal for the above-mentioned applications.  


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Topics: Nanoparticles, User Spotlight, Industrial Applications, Biopharmaceutical Research

Are Blue Mussels the New Microplastic Fiber Sink? A study by Bigelow Lab

December 2018 — Microplastics are an ubiquitous concern for the world's oceans. Increasing demand for consumer plastics has resulted in an estimated 4.8 to 15.11 million metric tons of plastics entering the oceans every year1,2. These macroplastics degrade into microplastics, or plastic fragments <5 mm in diameter, which can range in morphology from rigid pieces to amorphous fibers. 

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Topics: Aquatic Research, Marine Research, User Spotlight

New Method for Meiobenthos Analysis Using FlowCam

Researchers from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, and Am-Lab Inc. developed a methodology to use the FlowCam® for analysis of sediment-inhabiting meiobenthos.  

Meiobenthos are small, benthic invertebrates often used as indicators of anthropogenic influence and other natural disturbances. They play a primary role in sediment nutrient cycling and stability in benthic ecosystems. 

Meiobenthos imaged by the FlowCam. Organic matter was stained with Rose Bengal to easily differentiate meiobenthos from inorganic particulates, such as sediment. Imaged organisms are labeled as follows: a) Nematoda; b) Copepoda; c) Nauplius larvae; d) Kinorhyncha; e) Foraminifera. Credit: Kitahashi et al. (2018). 

Optical microscopy, which is labor-intensive and time-consuming, is often the primary technology utilized for analysis of meiobenthos. In this study, Kitahashi et al. developed a method to use the FlowCam and VisualSpreadsheet® for analysis of these small, benthic invertebrates.

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

New Method for Cell Counting Microcystis Colonies Using Image Processing Method

October 2018 — Environmental Engineering Research published a paper presenting a new method for cell counting Microcystis colonies using the FlowCam.  Researchers from Korea Water Resources Corporation, University of Central Florida, and Kyungbook National University developed a three-dimensional image processing method using an algorithm to count colonial Microcystis cells.    

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Topics: Aquatic Research, User Spotlight, Harmful Algal Blooms, Freshwater Research, FlowCam Technology

Study by University of Alberta finds the FlowCam is a reliable and faster alternative to manual microscopy for cyanobacterial bloom monitoring

Scientists at the University of Alberta, Alberta Health, and University of Calgary compared the efficacy of using the FlowCam to traditional light microscopy for rapid cyanobacteria quantification and high resolution taxonomic data. Traditional light microscopy, while it provides the highest level of detail and is the ideal method for taxonomic identification, is time-consuming. The rate of quantifying and reporting cyanobacterial abundance must match the rate of cyanobacterial production in order to assess the present risk to human and ecological health. 

Anabaena, a common culprit of cyanobacterial blooms, as imaged by the FlowCam at 10X. 

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

Technological Advances Push Protein and Particulate Research Further: Insights from the 2018 Workshop on Protein Aggregation and Immunogenicity

KentPetersonCEOFluidImagingTechnologiesKent Peterson is the CEO of Fluid Imaging Technologies.

Every summer, around 160 researchers converge at the Workshop on Protein Aggregation and Immunogenicity hosted in Breckenridge, Colorado by the University of Colorado Center for Pharmaceutical Technology and the AAPS Focus Group on Protein Aggregation and Immunogenicity. 

At the Workshop, scientists studying the behavior, formation, and effects of protein aggregates and other subvisible particles in therapeutic formulations gather to present their research and discuss industry issues.

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Topics: Biopharmaceutical Research, User Spotlight, FlowCam Technology, Protein Therapeutics, News and Events

Japanese Consortium Assesses the Standardization of Flow Imaging Microscopy for Therapeutic Protein Regulations

In a recent study by Kiyoshi et al., a Japanese consortium conducted a collaborative study to assess the standardization of flow imaging microscopy (FIM) for the analysis of subvisible particles (SVPs) and protein aggregates in therapeutic protein products.

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Topics: Biopharmaceutical Research, Protein Therapeutics, User Spotlight

Summer 2018 Intern Pursues Interests in Instrumentation and Business at Fluid Imaging Technologies

The summer internship is a valued program at Fluid Imaging Technologies (FIT). For the past 5 years, we've hosted a student in our headquarters to grow and pursue their interest in science, technology, and business.

This year, Travis Haysley, a joint MBA and PhD student at University of Maine's Graduate School for Biomedical Science and Engineering, approached us about an internship opportunity. Haysley was interested in FIT for our unique ability to offer a glimpse into the world of industry while providing an avenue to pursue his interest in instrumentation. 

Travis Haysley (middle) with Laboratory Supervisor Nicole Gill (left) and Technical Customer Support Manager Kay Johnson (right). Not pictured is Heather Anne Wright, Applications Support Manager, who was also an adviser to Haysley. 
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Topics: User Spotlight, News and Events

Fluorescent Photopigments Captured with Trigger Mode at the University of Algarve

The FlowCam's "trigger-mode" enables the user to capture individual images of excited, fluorescing particles every time one passes the camera. Cyanobacteria and Cryptophyta contain the photopigments chlorophyll and phycobiliproteins.  These photopigments can be excited using a FlowCam equipped with a 532 nm laser. When the FlowCam is set to "trigger-mode", each fluorescing particle that passes the camera view "triggers" the FlowCam to capture its image.

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Topics: Aquatic Research, FlowCam Technology, User Spotlight

Boogieing Around Maine for Green Crab Larvae  

During the summer of 2017, UNE student Ariella Danzinger worked to develop a prototype for a remote-controlled zooplankton collection device. Her mentor, Dr. Markus Frederich, Professor of Marine Sciences at the University of New England (UNE), studies the invasive green crab and its response to climate change. Next in Frederich's line of research is to better understand the green crab during its larval stage. 

UNE student Ariella Danzinger with her zooplankton suction and collection device, which was used to collect green crab larvae samples during a summer study with Dr. Markus Frederich. Credit: University of New England.

"We know by now in great detail what kind of adult invasive crabs come here, when they breed, how fast they grow, and more. But we don’t know much about the larvae populations in this area," says Frederich. 

The collection of green crab larvae and other zooplankton samples can be thwarted by water that is too deep for the researcher to wade in or by water too shallow for a boat to tow a plankton net.  Danzinger spent her summer working in Frederich's lab developing a remote plankton suction and collection device, affectionately termed the "sucker", to solve the zooplankton collection gap. 

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Topics: Aquatic Research, User Spotlight