From a high-potential biomass perspective, microalgae have recently attracted considerable attention due to their extensive application in many areas. Although studies searching for algal species with extensive application potential are ongoing, technical development for their assessment and maintenance of quality in culture are also critical and inescapable challenges. Considering the sensitivity of microalgae to environmental changes, management of algal quality is one of the top priorities for industrial applications. Helping substitute for conventional methods such as manual hemocytometry, turbidity, and spectrophotometry, this review presents an image-based, automated cell counter with a fluorescence filter to measure chlorophyll autofluorescence emitted by algae. Capturing chlorophyll-bearing cells selectively, the device accomplished precise qualification of algal numbers. The results for cell density using the device with fluorescence detection were almost identical to those obtained using hemocytometry. The automated functions of the device allow operators to reduce working hours, for not only cell density analysis but simultaneous multiparametric analysis such as cell size and algal status based on chlorophyll integrity. The automated device boldly supports further development of algal application and might contribute to opening up more avenues in the microalgal industry.
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