Concentration Dependence of Optical Transmission and Extinction of Different Diatom Cultures

Julijana Cvjetinovic orcid (Login required)
Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow, Russia

Sergei Perkov
Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow, Russia

Maxim Kurochkin
Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow, Russia

Igor Sergeev
Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow, Russia
FSRC «Crystallography and Photonics» RAS, Moscow, Russia

Sergei German
Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow, Russia

Yekaterina Bedoshvili
Limnological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Irkutsk, Russia
Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow, Russia

Nickolai Davidovich
T.I. Vyazemsky Karadag Scientific Station, Natural Reserve of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Kurortnoe, Feodosiya, Russia
Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow, Russia

Alexander Korsunsky
University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Dmitry Gorin
Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow, Russia

Paper #3567 received 02 Dec 2022; revised manuscript received 06 Dec 2022; accepted for publication 07 Dec 2022; published online 30 Jan 2023. doi: 10.18287/JBPE23.09.010303.

DOI: 10.18287/JBPE23.09.010303


Diatoms are unicellular microalgae enclosed in a hierarchically structured silica cell wall that play a significant role in maintaining the health of the planet’s ecosystem. As one of the main photosynthesizers, they are responsible for 20–25% of the world’s oxygen release and carbon fixation. In order to develop technologies for the efficient extraction of carbon dioxide, for example, using bioreactors that provide optimal conditions for the growth of diatoms, it is also necessary to effectively track the diatom lifecycle, as well as control parameters that affect their growth. Here we offer a simple device consisting of LED illumination with a central wavelength of 505 nm that allows to monitor changes in diatom concentrations. We examined marine centric and freshwater pennate diatom strains with different morphologies, sizes, and volumes and obtained a linear dependence of the measured transmission on the concentration. The results were compared with the spectrophotometric approach, which showed a higher inaccuracy with respect to the linear fit. We believe that such an optical setup can be used to solve the problems of continuous flow monitoring of algae both in bioreactors as well as in their natural environment.


diatom algae; optical setup; spectrophotometry; fluorescence; microscopy

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