479215 An Image Analysis Tool for Mapping Cilia-Driven Particle Crystallization
Aiello, Joseph M., Markovetz, Matthew R., Parker, Robert S.
Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Pittsburgh
An important aspect of particle-based drug delivery is the degree of crystallinity of the delivered particles in vivo. Brownian motion affects particles in a fluid under 6 microns in diameter enable the formation of crystalline structures. Larger particles require that a driving force be applied to them. In the case where particles are inhaled into human lungs, cilia within the lungs may impart such a force on the particles in an effort to clear them from the airways. In this work, images were taken using confocal microscopy of particles on well-differentiated, ciliated human bronchial epithelial cell cultures. Stacked 2D image files of the particles were generated post-assembly. Using an augmented form of the Circular Hough Transform function, each stack of particles was evaluated and particle centers were identified. From the data obtained during each stack evaluation, the overall crystal structure in this 3D system can be determined.
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