PipeCyte: A miniature immersed-optic flow cytometer for autonomous platforms.

Jarred E Swalwell, Francois Ribalet, Annette M Hynes and E. Virginia Armbrust, University of Washington, School of Oceanography, Seattle, WA, United States
A new flow cytometer named PipeCyte employs a primary optic immersed in a large 7 mm flow of seawater and performs accurate measurements of phytoplankton in the size range from 0.5-10 µm without the requirement of a clean carrier fluid. The instrument is the size of a shoebox, consumes less than 25 watts of power, and has been designed for underwater deployment within a pressure housing. These attributes also make PipeCyte an ideal candidate for integration into remote and autonomous platforms. Continuous measurements of abundances of the marine cyanobacteria Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus will be presented from a shipboard transect across surface oligotrophic waters from Tahiti to Hawaii and compared to continuous measurements taken with the SeaFlow flow cytometer. Also presented are in situ 30 m depth profiles of measured abundance of Synechococcus and picoplankton in the Puget Sound, WA.