FlowCam® for Other Aquatic Applications

FlowCam images of microplastic particles in waterSince its development in 1999 at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, the FlowCam has evolved from its roots in the study of phytoplankton in the Gulf of Maine. 

The FlowCam has been used for many other aquatic applications to measure particle concentration, including wastewater analysisballast water testing and research, paleolimnology, microplastic analysis, and invasive species detection. The FlowCam is ideally suited to analyze microscopic and macroscopic organisms and particles in water.  The FlowCam combines microscopy, flow cytometry, and image recognition to analyze a myriad of microscopic particles and organisms. 

How will you know if the FlowCam will work for you? Send us a sample for us to analyze on the FlowCam. We will share the results and teach you how the FlowCam can be used for your intended application. 

The FlowCam captures high-resolution, digital images of particles suspended in a liquid medium. Over 40 physical parameters are measured from each image, and the data is processed using our image-recognition statistical analysis software, VisualSpreadsheet®. Use digital images to verify the size, shape, and identity of your organisms and particles. 

    Image and analyze particles 300 nm to 5 mm
    Measure 40+ physical parameters per organism/particle
    Count and calculate concentration of particles and organisms
    Measure size distribution frequency of particles and organisms
    Identify the organisms and particles by viewing high resolution digital images
    VisualSpreadsheet software performs image analysis by measuring 40+ morphological parameters including biovolume, coloration, shape and size

Download List of Published FlowCam Research

How Flow Imaging Microscopy Works:

FlowCam Water Markets Video - Contact Us - Oceanographers Thumbnail


Customer Quote:

"The purpose of this study was to develop a new method for investigating sediment-inhabiting meiobenthos using the Flow Cytometer And Microscope (FlowCam)...These small benthic invertebrates are traditionally investigated by individually counting and identifying specimens under a microscope, which is labor intensive and time consuming. However, FlowCam, which was originally developed to semiautomatically analyze microplankton, has the potential to resolve these challenges.... We found the FlowCam system:

  • Enabled sufficient meiobenthic images to be obtained to allow the identification and classification of specimens at high taxonomic levels
  • Obtained comparable numbers of individual to traditional methods
  • Has the potential to rapidly process large the volumes of meiobenthos samples that are required when monitoring seasonal and spatial variation in ocean ecosystems and conducting long-term environmental impact assessments."

—Kitahashi et al., A new method for acquiring images of meiobenthic images using the FlowCam, MethodsX 5, 1330-1335 (2018). 


Resources for Other Aquatic Applications

Access our complete library of downloadable resources here >>

Read about how customers are using the FlowCam for:

Published Papers




Explore FlowCam Applications:

FlowCam drinking water applications icon
FlowCam aquatic applications icon
algae icon spiny
FlowCam Food and beverage applications icon
FlowCam Industry Applications Icon

Biopharma & Pharma

Water Quality Monitoring

Plankton Research

Harmful Algal Blooms

Food & Beverage