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SEN 02 Portable Algae Flow Cytometer



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SEN 02 Portable Algae Flow Cytometer SEN 02 1 Overview The portable algae flow cytometer is a project that aims to expedite research in algae biology using microfluid based and state of the art detection technology The project is a joint effort that will incorporate the expertise of two different groups Dr David Caron at USC and Dr Yu Chong Tai at Caltech One main focus of the project is to develop a portable flow cytometer that is suitable for on field monitoring of algae population and reduce test time The overwhelming growth of microalgal population the microalgal bloom has negative effects on marine ecosystems The temporally distinct increase in biomass results in a net loss of oxygen through respiratory and degradation process The hypoxic event leads to the mortality of larger organisms including fish shellfish and seagrasses Further many bloom forming species are capable of toxin production which is harmful to the marine lives even affects human health However factors driving selective proliferations of microalgae and especially harmful species are still poorly understood Part of the reason for this lack of knowledge is the time and labor intensive nature of analysis of water samples for specific bloom causing organisms Many of today s ocean observing systems provide only rough proxies for algal biomass e g chlorophyll fluorescence absorption or backscattering and couldn t distinguish different species To solve this problem we build a portable algae flow cytometer system to provides a precise evaluation of the algae population The flow cytometer measures individual algae cells for their size chlorophyll fluorescence and other biological properties which is important to distinguish different species especially to resolve the harmful ones among algae communities Also the portable system can be used for constant vigilance in the prebloom stage to tie down processes contributing to the increased growth of algae SEN 02 2 Approach The portable system built at



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