Home » Image Analysis, Particle shape

WOW! Imaging is great!

26 May 2011 No Comment

Written by:

Hi – let me introduce myself – I’m Debbie Huck, Product Specialist – Morphological Imaging Systems.

As my title suggests I deal with analytical results with visual impact; images of particles that statistically quantify size, shape and, with the Morphologi G3-ID, chemical identity too. A big part of my role is to help customers get the most out of imaging technology which is a pretty rewarding thing to do. Automated imaging is a technique with instant ‘wow’ factor and the more people I introduce to imaging the clearer view I have of its potential.

Introducing imaging

In the simplest of terms, automated imaging systems record thousands of particle images and build up statistically relevant values of size and shape descriptors from the results. Relying on rapid, quality camera work and sophisticated software, modern systems measure tens of thousands of particles in just a few minutes. Detailed information can be found in the online presentation: Basic Principles of particle characterization by automated image analysis .

Imaging systems such as the Morphologi G3 and Sysmex FPIA-3000 are automated to a very high level but set-up of a new standard operating procedure (SOP) still requires some structured input.

Top tip for setting up imaging SOPs

One of my top tips for setting up imaging SOPs is to take time getting the threshold value right.

Used by automated imaging systems to distinguish between particle and background, threshold values need to be defined for each sample type. They can be estimated by the software with reference to a selected, representative frame from an image of the sample but close visual checking is essential to confirm the suitability of any initial estimate.

If the threshold value is set too low your particles will start to disappear into the background. Too high and they will be over-sized. Background noise will also increase. The ideal is to aim for a thin grey border to create a complete particle perimeter.

Get in touch

If you have any problems at all with imaging, or simply want to know what you may be able to achieve with it, then please get in touch. It’s my job to help and I love a challenge.