Microscopy and Microanalysis

Microscopy Techniques

Analysis of Orientations of Collagen Fibers by Novel Fiber-Tracking Software

Jun  Wu  a1 , Bartlomiej  Rajwa  a2 a3 , David L.  Filmer  a1 , Christoph M.  Hoffmann  a4 , Bo  Yuan  a4 , Ching-Shoei  Chiang  a4 , Jennie  Sturgis  a2 and J. Paul  Robinson  a2 a5 c1
a1 Department of Biology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
a2 Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
a3 Department of Biophysics, The Jan Zurzycki Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Jagiellonian University, ul. Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Kraków, Poland
a4 Department of Computer Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
a5 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA

Article author query
wu j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
rajwa b   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
filmer dl   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
hoffmann cm   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
yuan b   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
chiang c   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
sturgis j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
robinson jp   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Recent evidence supports the notion that biological functions of extracellular matrix (ECM) are highly correlated to not only its composition but also its structure. This article integrates confocal microscopy imaging and image-processing techniques to analyze the microstructural properties of ECM. This report describes a two- and three-dimensional fiber middle-line tracing algorithm that may be used to quantify collagen fibril organization. We utilized computer simulation and statistical analysis to validate the developed algorithm. These algorithms were applied to confocal images of collagen gels made with reconstituted bovine collagen type I, to demonstrate the computation of orientations of individual fibers.

(Received September 19 2002)
(Accepted December 10 2002)

Key Words: image processing; confocal microscopy; ECM; collagen fibers; orientation.

c1 Corresponding author. E-mail: jpr@flowcyt.cyto.purdue.edu