What is Flow Imaging Microscopy?
Flow Imaging Microscopes (FIM) is also known as flow imaging particle analyzer and it is essentially used to perform three functions within a single instrument. Market research tools suggest that it is used to examine a fluid under a microscope, take images of the magnified particles, and then characterize the particles using various measurements. Research associated with the presence of microbial life within oceans is noted to be one of the key study areas that benefitted from the use of this technology. In the biomedical domain, flow imaging microscopes are used to analyze biopharmaceuticals as well as parental drugs to evaluate the stability of a given formulation. Quality control associated with food ingredients is another segment that gained substantial benefits through the induction of this technology. Food imaging microscopes are used in the food ingredients segment to study the effects of particle shape on the delivered taste of the product.
The market database suggests that the first flow imaging microscope was noted to have been developed at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. The device was called the Flowcam and it was used to identify, count and track plankton populations around the globe. The FlowCam was created to provide the advantages of both a flow cytometer and a microscope in one device. The device allowed for the introduction of an ocean water sample, the enlargement and photography of the imaged particles, and the subsequent measurement of the pictured particles.
Imaging flow cytometry
Combining traditional flow cytometry with microscopy, imaging flow cytometry (IFC) enables the analysis and imaging of astronomically high numbers of individual cells. Market research tools state that the physical and chemical properties of a population of cells and particles can be determined using imaging flow cytometry. A sample of cells is suspended in a liquid, and it is injected into a flow cytometer. The sample is ideally focused to flow through a laser beam one cell at a time, where the light scattered is unique to the cells and their constituent parts. Fluorescent markers are frequently used to label cells, causing light to be absorbed by the cells and then emit in a range of wavelengths. A computer can quickly inspect tens of thousands of cells, and the information acquired is then processed.
Imaging flow cytometry gained popularity in recent years as academics look for deeper understandings from sparse sample material at the single-cell level. Business intelligence tools state that the technology was noted to register its presence as early as the year 1979. In terms of research segments, aquatic microbiology is noted to be one of the key areas that benefitted from imaging flow cytometry. Cell proliferation assay is another domain that has gained an edge in its research after making use of imaging flow cytometry. It is frequently necessary to examine the cells’ proliferative behavior to draw certain conclusions. The tracking dye carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester is one such test for determining cell proliferation (CFSE).
Market Trends for Flow imaging Microscopy (FIM)
Market analysis suggests that the growth of the flow imaging microscopy market is majorly supported by the increased research-based investment in domains like nanotechnology, pharmaceutical R&D, as well as strict guidelines instated across the industry. As per market research tools, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturer’s Association of America, roughly USD 79.6 billion was invested in R&D as of 2018. The lobbying value for PhRMA was noted to be USD 30 Million in 2021 and 8 Million in 2022.
Market analysis based on technology suggests that particle size for a specimen is determined by the flow cell depth. However, only particles that lie within a certain said range can be characterized using this technology. Therefore, business intelligence tools state that data processing can experience serious bottlenecks if a said sample is to have particles with sizes that are lesser than the mentioned range values.
How is Flow Imaging Microscopy used?
Flow imaging microscopy is typically used to examine the individual particles within a said sample. It is used for a process called particle analysis that helps determine the various properties associated with a given set of information. The basic constituent substances within a particle can be determined using particle analysis. The size distribution, concentration, as well as various measurements associated with a given particle can be determined using this methodology. The particle analysis for a given sample is represented graphically, and the change in curve lines is hereby used to interpret the various components within a given particle matter.