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Instrument: Yokogawa Fluid Imaging Technologies FlowCam VS particle imaging system

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Imaging cytometers are automated instruments that quantify properties of single cells, one cell at a time. They combine some aspects of flow cytometry with particle imaging capabilities in an automated device to classify small particles, including phytoplankton and protozoa. They can measure a variety of properties: cell size, cell granularity, cell aspect ratio, equivalent spherical diameter (ESD) and area-based diameter (ABD) [to estimate bio-volume, which is used to estimate cell carbon biomass]. Particle images are digitally recorded and sorted into different classes according to training libraries using a support vector machine (supervised learning methods). The instruments particle-size is calibrated using different sizes of latex beads.

The FlowCam VS series are automated imaging-in-flow instruments that generate high-resolution digital images for measuring size and shape of microscopic particles. The sample introduced in the system is attracted by a peristaltic or a syringe pump into a flow cell (or flow chamber) with known dimensions, located in front of a microscope objective which is connected to a camera video. The benchtop model is ideally suited to a typical laboratory environment with applications in oceanographic research, municipal water, biopharmaceutical formulations, chemicals, oil and gas, biofuels, and many other markets. FlowCam VS is available in four models, from the imaging-only VS-I (i.e. without excitation wavelength or fluorescence emission wavelengths) to the top-of-the-line VS-IV with two channels of fluorescence measurement and scatter triggering capabilities. The instrument can measure particles between 2µm and 2mm; can analyse in vivo or fixed samples; has a flow rate between 0.005 ml/minute and 250 ml/minute (dependant upon magnification, flow cell depth, camera frame rate, efficiency desired, etc.). It can produce either 8-bit Grayscale (Monochrome Camera) or 24-bit Colour (Colour Camera) images, depending on the model.