FlowCAM fluorescence capabilities tested with Sytox Green

By Fluid Imaging Technologies Inc. | November 04, 2011

Fluid Imaging Technologies Inc. of Yarmouth, Maine, manufacturer of the FlowCAM dynamic imaging particle analyzer, announced that a preliminary study yielded positive results for the instrument’s fluorescence capabilities when using Sytox Green nucleic acid stain to indicate whether algal cells are alive or dead. The application is significant for the algae-to-biofuel industry where commercial production of algae requires reliable methods for monitoring the growth and health of algal cultures.

Sytox Green, manufactured by Invitrogen of Carlsbad, Calif., is a high-affinity nucleic acid stain that easily penetrates dead cells, but will not cross the membranes of live cells. This characteristic of the stain has proven it to suitable for use with the FlowCAM, which captures fluorescence signals from dead algal cells once the Sytox Green has been absorbed, and then images, counts and analyzes data on each cell with its sophisticated VisualSpreadsheet software.

In an experiment using Sytox Green and the algae Nannochloropsis, the FlowCAM picked up the fluorescence emitted by live algal cells on one of its fluorescence Channels and the Sytox Green induced fluorescence from dead cells on another fluorescence channel. The experiment produced encouraging data for the technicians conducting the study, further adding to the value of FlowCAM’s fluorescence-detecting capabilities.

Victoria Kurtz of Fluid Imaging Technologies said, “After working with the FlowCAM for the past two years in the algae biofuels industry, I am excited to report that our instrument is capable of determining live versus dead cells when using Sytox Green.”      

Fluid Imaging Technologies manufactures the FlowCAM particle analysis instrumentation for rapid characterization, imaging and monitoring of particles and cells in fluids. The instrument is used in a variety of aquatic and industrial applications worldwide.