Rapid Screening Methods For Microalgae

Microalgae are among the oldest and most numerous organisms living on earth. Many derive their energy from photosynthesis, but they may also be heterotrophic: absorbing nutrients directly from the environment.  While the biochemical pathways are similar in all living things, microalgae have evolved unique pathways and natural products that we have only begun to explore.

We are developing proprietary rapid screening methods to explore the biomedical potential of microalgae.


Among the natural products of interest are complex exopolysaccharides which may have useful medical adhesive and antibiotic properties, fluorescent proteins such as phycobilins that can serve as cell markers, phytotoxins for use as metabolic inhibitors and high molecular weight omega-3 fatty acids that are important as dietary supplement and nutraceuticals. Qsela is currently focused on omega-3 oil expressing microalgae.


The omega-3 supplement market is currently serving over 9.5 m people and anticipated to grow by as much as 5% even during 2009.  A return to an 8% annual growth after 2010 is expected due to positive scientific studies on its health impacts (NutraIngredients-USA). It is anticipated that the US Institute of Medicine will establish a RDA during 2009 for DHA and EPA as requested by GOED (Global Organization of EPA and DHA). Nutraceuticals will play an important role in providing this RDA.  Algae grown under controlled conditions, free of the contaminants and without the ecological impact of fish oil, will become an important source for the DHA and EPA nutraceutical market.





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