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Biomedical Engineering

Image analysis for macrophages and other cells

Project details

Principal Investigator:  Dr C Reyes-Aldasoro

Co-Investigators:  Prof Stephen Renshaw (University of Sheffield), Dr Brian Stramer (King's College London), and Prof Donald Wlodkovic (Monash University Australia).

Researcher:  Mr JA Solis-Lemus

Funding:  City University London

Project Description

This project investigates the complex movement of migrating cells and small organisms. Special emphasis has been devoted to macrophages observed with fluorescent confocal microscopy. Techniques developed include segmentation, tracking and shape analysis, which can be extended to various other applications, not exclusively of cells. With the acquisition conditions and particular resolution, macrophages exhibit very complex shapes, in some cases complicating the analysis considerably. A software framework has been proposed to detect, track and analyse the shape and movement of macrophages.

The analysis of the response of immune cells is important to understand their role in the processes of inflammation and infection. However, observing these cells in humans is complicated therefore scientist have used alternatives such as cells in petri dishes. A recent development is the use of "model" organisms, that is, other animals with similar immune systems as those of humans. Of these, one of the most promising ones is the common fruit fly embryos which allow the observation of cells due to its transparency. This project will observe the movement of immune cells in situations of inflammation and infection and it is expected will contribute to the understanding of the conditions behind numerous human illnesses such as like asthma, atherosclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis