The prospect of interacting with a “laser robot that finds killer algae” was a draw with local kids at the Woods Hole Science And Technology Education Partnership’s (WHSTEP) Family Science Night, Thinking Big by Looking Small at the Marine Biological Laboratories. McLane used the Imaging FlowCytobot (IFCB) to image phytoplankton from local water collected in Eel Pond. The event was well attended by students and teachers from local schools ranging from elementary to high school age.
The IFCB is an in-situ automated submersible imaging flow cytometer that generates images of particles in-flow taken from the aquatic environment. The IFCB uses a combination of flow cytometric and video technology to capture high resolution images of suspended particles. Laser- induced fluorescence and light scattering from individual particles are measured and used to trigger targeted image acquisition; the optical and image data are then transmitted to shore in real time.