Particle Size and Shape Analysis using Flow Imaging Microscopy

FlowCam Internal Diagram

Flow imaging microscopy, also referred to as dynamic image analysis, is a solution-based technique to capture subvisible and visible images in a microfluidic channel under flow.

  1. A sample is manually or automatically loaded into
    the injection port
  2. A high-precision syringe draws the sample into an
    optical flow cell
  3. A fluidics sensor initiates data acquisition
  4. A high-speed camera records images of the full width and depth of the flow cell as the sample flow through the optical field of view
  5. Particle images are segmented from the camera images and captured in real-time as they flow through the flow cell
  6. Data may be further analyzed, grouped, and filtered post-acquisition

In FlowCam 8400 and FlowCam Cyano, fluorescence excitation allows FlowCam to capture particle images whenever a fluorescing object is detected in the flow cell.

The Benefits of Flow Imaging Microscopy

see-whats-under-the-curveThe FlowCam flow imaging microscope and particle analyzer gives you more detailed, more accurate results than traditional volumetric techniques like flow cytometry, laser diffraction, and light obscuration. 

Most particle analyzers and particle counters provide only a distribution of particle size. The FlowCam gives you over 40 different measurements for each particle, as quickly as the other systems give you only one measurement – size.

While particle size distributions alone may be sufficient when looking at a uniform, homogenous sample of material, in the real world most of your samples contain different types of particles. And you typically want to find out how many of each particle type your sample contains.  

You need more than just size data to properly distinguish one particle type from another. Especially when other volumetric techniques convert particle size to equivalent spherical diameter. With VisualSpreadsheet® software you collect particle shape (morphology) measurements as well as gray-scale measurements (transparency, intensity, etc.) and color information (optionally) to enable you to better characterize the particle in your sample. 

FlowCam also offers more advanced shape measurements – including circularity, convexity, fiber curl, and symmetry – which help you distinguish between particle types that may have almost identical sizes.

See How it Works:


HubSpot Video



Learn more about the benefits in our informative e-Book, The Ultimate Guide to Flow Imaging Microscopy.

Download eBook: Ultimate Guide to Flow Imaging Microscopy

Explore FlowCam Applications:

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Biopharma & Pharma

Water Quality Monitoring

Plankton Research

Harmful Algal Blooms

Food & Beverage