FlowCam - Flow Imaging Microscopy Blog

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: Industrial Applications, FlowCam Technology, User Spotlight, Biopharmaceutical Research

Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting Brings FlowCam Users Together to Share Research

In May 2022 our FlowCam Aquatic Team attended the Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting (JASM) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This historic meeting brought together scientists from nine different societies to form the largest gathering of its kind in history. It was a welcome change after two years of virtual meetings and limited in-person collaboration. 

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Topics: Marine Research, Freshwater Research, News and Events, Harmful Algal Blooms, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater), User Spotlight, Aquaculture, Aquatic Research

Purdue University Uses FlowCam Nano to Study Atmospheric Aerosols' Effect on Climate Change

The Alexander Laskin Research Group at Purdue University is a "multi-disciplinary experimental group with research interests in the areas of Analytical and Physical Chemistry of airborne and aquatic environmental particles, driven by the overarching goals of understanding their impact on the environmental chemistry, the air pollution, and the Earth’s climate."

The environmental particles studied by the Alex Laskin group can have natural and anthropogenic sources including oceans, deserts, volcanoes, transportation emissions, aviation, fire retardants, explosion disasters, and even household cooking. These particles often have multiphase chemistry, meaning they can change shape, size, and chemical composition. Particles below 2.5 µm are considered respirable and are able to enter the lungs, bloodstream, and brain.

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Topics: Industrial Applications, User Spotlight, Nanoparticles

Water Quality Monitoring Workshop to be Offered at AWWA ACE Conference

After a two-year break, the American Water Works Association's ACE Conference will be hosted in-person in San Antonio, Texas, from June 12th - 15th. The conference brings together water sector professionals from around the country to learn about new technologies and techniques in water quality monitoring, mitigation strategies, and overcoming engineering challenges. 

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

FjordFlux Cruise Uses FlowCam to Analyze Glacier Particles and Assess Effects of Climate Change

FlowCam user, Jochen Wollschläger, of Germany's University of Oldenburg, recently returned from a research trip aboard the RV METEOR as part of the FjordFlux Cruise in the Beagle Channel, at the southernmost tip of Chile and Argentina. The goal of the expedition was to utilize the fjords of Patagonia to better understand how climate change will affect similar environments in Antarctica. Carried out in the context of the DYNAMO Project, the cruise was a cooperation between Germany, Chile, and Argentina. 

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Topics: Marine Research, User Spotlight, Aquatic Research

Preventing Embolism from Medical Implants by Using FlowCam Imaging Particle Analysis

In a recent paper from Rostock University Medical Center, authors Anja Kurzhals et al. summarize a study they performed to determine the relevant morphological characteristics of particulates shed by a commercially available coronary stent delivery system. Flow Imaging Microscopy (FIM), also called Dynamic Image Analysis (DIA), was used to image and analyze particles produced during a simulated implantation of the cardiovascular device. 

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Topics: FlowCam Technology, User Spotlight, Biopharmaceutical Research

FlowCam 2021 Grant Winner, Zabdiel Roldan Ayala, Presents Research at Ocean Sciences Meeting

Each year the FlowCam Aquatic Research Equipment & Travel Grant is awarded to two recipients: a graduate-level researcher and an undergraduate faculty member to enrich a particular course or to support a student doing independent research. The winners each receive a FlowCam instrument to use for up to 4 months, plus remote training, technical support, software licenses, and funding to present at a major scientific conference.

The 2022 FlowCam Aquatic Research Equipment & Travel Grant is now accepting submissions. Learn more about the program and how to apply at the link above.

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

FlowCam Customer Methodologies to be Presented at the 2nd Annual Virtual Harmful Algal Bloom Research Symposium

In early January, the Algal Bloom Action Team, a collaboration of water professionals, researchers, and educators from twelve states in the North Central Region of the United States is hosting its 2nd annual Virtual Harmful Algal Bloom Research Symposium. Team members include the national network of Water Resources Research Institutes (WRRI), the North Central Region Water Network, and university extensions within each state in the North Central Region. The free-to-attend symposium will bring together researchers from across the US to present and discuss the latest developments in HAB research and outreach. Presentations will cover four different topics:

  • HAB Monitoring and Ecology
  • Cyanotoxin Treatment and Detection
  • Forecasting and Modeling HABs
  • Emerging Technology for Detecting and Monitoring HABs
Virtual Harmful Algal Bloom Research Symposium 2022
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Topics: Freshwater Research, News and Events, Harmful Algal Blooms, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater), User Spotlight, 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

Community Groups Take HAB Monitoring Into Their Own Hands, Recognize Need for Formal Strategic Guidelines

Harmful algal blooms can have a detrimental effect on the environment and on human and animal health. As a result of climate change, water utilities are experiencing these events with increasing frequency. Historically, many water monitoring agencies have not had a plan in place to proactively monitor for cyanobacteria, but rather found themselves reacting to the effects of a bloom after the fact.

Last month, the US EPA released a report that addresses concerns within the agency about the lack of a cohesive, agency-wide plan to monitor freshwater bodies for harmful algal blooms (HABs):

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