Laboratory instrumentation manufacturer instrumentation manufacturer Fluid Imaging Technologies (Yarmouth, ME, USA) has earned a US patent for the development of a new system and method for imaging birefringent particles in a fluid.
The patented technology features two cross-polarizing filters set in a proprietary configuration to automatically detect the presence of anisotropic particles and microorganisms, take a high-resolution, digital image of each one and provide more than 30 different parameters of measurement data. These data can all be saved as image collages, interactive scattergrams and in other formats.
Allowing light to pass through to the camera for imaging only after passing through the birefringent particle and through both polarization analyzers, the new advance effectively isolates birefringent targets of interest for analysis while blocking particles and microorganisms not exhibiting birefringence from being imaged.
Now available as an option on the company's FlowCAM particle imaging and analysis system, the latest advance is suitable for the detection, monitoring and analysis of food ingredients, plastic resin, fibers, abrasives and crystals as well as for invasive mussel veligers such as the zebra and quagga mussels.
For versatility, the patented technology may be switched off in seconds to permit automated detection and imaging of both birefringent and non-birefringent particles and microorganisms at the same time. The new advance can be retrofitted to FlowCAM units in the field.
Fluid Imaging Technologies' patent 8,345,239 can be viewed on the US patent and trademark office web site here.
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-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design