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Contract initiates development of particle imaging instrumentation to address invasive mussels in waterways
Particle imaging and analysis instrumentation manufacturer Fluid Imaging Technologies, based in Yarmouth, Maine, has signed a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with the Bureau of Reclamation to collaborate on the enhancement of instrumentation that automates high-density counting of particles and microorganisms.
Focusing on the ability to detect, count and identify invasive mussel veligers, the CRADA agreement enables the Bureau to tap the company’s particle imaging and analysis expertise, FlowCAM imaging and cross polarization technologies within a cooperative framework to yield superior instrumentation suited specifically for the detection and enumeration of invasive mussel veligers, according to Bureau of Reclamation Biologist Scott O’Meara.
Processing thousands of images per minute, the FlowCAM automatically detects particles and microorganisms in a fluid sample, takes high-resolution, digital images of each one, measures size, length, width, shape, fluorescence and other parameters in real time and saves the data for analysis and collaborative review. Its optional cross polarization technology reveals birefringent particles and cells that would otherwise remain invisible and undetectable or unclear under ordinary light conditions.
The veliger states of zebra and quagga mussels, silica, plastics, ceramics, fibers, pigments, sugars, starches, spices, bone and pharmaceuticals are among the particles and microorganisms that become possible or easier to detect and measure with the cross polarization technology. O’Meara anticipates the production of a prototype within the year.