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March 2019

Hello there,

Happy spring to those of you in the Northern Hemisphere. We have several great updates to share, pertaining to new FlowCam research publications, reorganization of our website, employee travels and training in Asia and our upcoming event schedule.

All the best,

Cybele Brooks 
Marketing Manager

Fluid Imaging Technologies

 Collage of the Quarter


skin cells Pittcon 2019

Skin cells and fibers, plus miscellaneous particles from handshakes at Pittcon 2019, as imaged by the FlowCam 8000  


An Easier Way to Order Consumables Online

Good news for FlowCam customers. We've updated our consumables pages to be more user friendly. Consumables and all FlowCam accessories are now grouped by instrument, making it easy to order replacement tubing, flow cells, and other parts and supplies for your FlowCam. Need to place an order?  


Liquid Protein Formulation Characterization with FlowCam 

Different methodologies are used to characterize liquid protein formulations to measure biophysical descriptors and perform extended particle characterization. An article by Mattison et al. (2018) describes how they rationally achieved the reformulation of a biotherapeutic product based on biophysical stability predictors and descriptors as measured by the initial product ("formulation A") and the reformulated product ("formulation B").

Such predictors and descriptors included:

  1. diffusion interaction parameter (kD) as measured by dynamic light scattering,
  2. second virial coefficient (B22) as measured by static light scattering,
  3. effective protein charge (ZEff), and
  4. melting and onset aggregation temperatures (TM and TOnset). 

The formulations were also characterized using flow imaging analysis (FlowCam) for the quantification of subvisible particle count and morphology. Additionally, the FlowCam was used to sort images based on morphology, enabling the differentiation and separate analysis of amorphous, proteinaceous particles, from round silicone oil droplets used in the prefilled syringe lubricant. 

To learn about their method for liquid protein formulation characterization, you can access the full article here.  



FlowCam Demonstrates New, Quick Method
for Produced Water Analysis

A study by Baker Hughes demonstrates that the FlowCam imaging particle analysis technology is a more informative method than spectrophotometry to evaluate the demulsification of produced water. Produced water generated during oil extraction is held in skim tanks where it is treated with water clarifiers or demulsifiers.

Reverse emulsion breakers (REBs) coalesce the oil into larger molecules to be skimmed, or removed, from the produced water. The efficacy of REBs and other water clarifiers on produced water is important because oil extraction companies must meet water quality environmental regulations before releasing produced water back into the environment, or they require a low oil content if the water is to be reused in the extraction process. 


Electric Water Kettles Shedding Plastic Particulates 

A recent paper published in Analytik News discusses the use of the FlowCam imaging particle analyzer to detect and measure plastic particulates shedding from various brands of plastic and glass electric water kettles.  This study examines the susceptibility of the plastic in the different kettles to thermal degradation. 

In this study, 4 plastic kettles from different manufacturers (Ok, Emerio, Braun, Phillips) and one glass kettle manufactured by Ciantronic were cleaned and filled with particle-free water which was then boiled. Samples of water were taken from each kettle after various sequences of boiling and cooling, and analyzed in the FlowCam imaging particle analyzer. 

Cooking kettles over time - cropped
Fig. 4: Number of particles emitted by the kettles in each cooking cycle


Human Blood Plasma Catalyses the Degradation of Lycopodium Plant Sporoderm Microcapsules   

In this recent paper, sporoderm microcapsules (SDMC) of the Lycopodium and extracted sporopollenin exine capsules (SECs) were identified as being able to withstand the harsh environment of the stomach, which can facilitate the oral administration and controlled drug release into the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Furthermore it was reported that when SECs permeate through the intestinal walls and enter the bloodstream, they would decompose within 30-60 minutes.  

The FlowCam was used to monitor particle count and size of SDMCs.  Additionally, the morphological changes of the Lycopodium were tracked over time following blood plasma incubation. Flow Imaging Microscopy analysis demonstrates definitive morphological changes following incubation in human blood plasma. This supports the research that human blood plasma catalyses the degradation of Lycopodium plant sporoderm microcapsules.

Lycopodium Sporopollenen cropped
FlowCam images of Lycopodium before and after incubation in blood plasma


Where in the World is FIT?

Kay JohnsonTwo members of our Technical Customer Support team recently traveled to Asia (separately) in support of our customers and distributors. Kay Johnson visited and trained a biopharmaceutical customer in Seoul, South Korea with our local representative Sam Bo Scientific. She then went to Osaka, Japan with Am Lab, Inc. our partners in Japan to provide 2-day FlowCam Training at Kanso Co. LTD a regional engineering company. They plan to use the FlowCam to analyze meiobenthic organisms. The recently published paper by Kitahashi et al. (2018) prompted this Japanese group to purchase a FlowCam with a color camera. 

Read more from Kay's travel log.

Stephen Barton cropped- headshotStephen Barton traveled to Singapore, Tamil Nadu, India and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. In India, Stephen accompanied our local partners Spitzen Analytica to the aquatic sciences department of Annamalai University. In Abu Dhabi he worked with our partners Nahla Medical Supplies training students and researchers at the  NYU Abu Dhabi university.

Read more from Stephen's travel log.




Stefanie Hebert


Welcome to the Team, Stef!

We welcome Stefanie Hebert as our new Accounting Assistant! 

Stefanie joins us with 8 years of experience in the finance department of a non-profit. There she mastered contract and budget development for the organization's many programs.

Particle Characterization Service

Do you question whether or not the FlowCam particle analyzer will work for your application? We provide Particle Analysis Services as an offering to help you determine if flow imaging microscopy is right for you.

Upcoming 2019 Conferences and Exhibitions

Visit our booth in the exhibition area to meet with members of our team and learn more about the FlowCam and VisualSpreadsheet. 
  • Pittcon, March 17-21st, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 
  • Protein Engineering Summit (PEGS), April 8-12, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Society of Cosmetic Chemists Suppliers Day (SCC) May 7-8th, New York, New York
  • Powder and Bulk Solids, June 4-6th, Toronto, Ontario
  • Colorado Workshop on Protein Aggregation and Immunogenicity, July 29-Aug 1st, Breckenridge, Colorado
  • Microscopy & Microanalysis, August 4-8th, Portland Oregon
  • Bioprocessing Summit, August 12-16th, Boston, Massachusetts