The average pore size ξ0 of filamentous networks assembled from biological macromolecules is one of the most important physical parameters affecting their biological functions. Modern optical methods, such as confocal microscopy, can noninvasively image such networks, but extracting a quantitative estimate of ξ0 is a nontrivial task. We present here a fast and simple method based on a two-dimensional bubble approach, which works by analyzing one by one the (thresholded) images of a series of three-dimensional thin data stacks. No skeletonization or reconstruction of the full geometry of the entire network is required. The method was validated by using many isotropic in silico generated networks of different structures, morphologies, and concentrations. For each type of network, the method provides accurate estimates (a few percent) of the average and the standard deviation of the three-dimensional distribution of the pore sizes, defined as the diameters of the largest spheres that can be fit into the pore zones of the entire gel volume. When applied to the analysis of real confocal microscopy images taken on fibrin gels, the method provides an estimate of ξ0 consistent with results from elastic light scattering data. © 2013 Biophysical Society.

Fast two-dimensional bubble analysis of biopolymer filamentous networks pore size from confocal microscopy thin data stacks

MOLTENI, MATTEO;FERRI, FABIO
2013

Abstract

The average pore size ξ0 of filamentous networks assembled from biological macromolecules is one of the most important physical parameters affecting their biological functions. Modern optical methods, such as confocal microscopy, can noninvasively image such networks, but extracting a quantitative estimate of ξ0 is a nontrivial task. We present here a fast and simple method based on a two-dimensional bubble approach, which works by analyzing one by one the (thresholded) images of a series of three-dimensional thin data stacks. No skeletonization or reconstruction of the full geometry of the entire network is required. The method was validated by using many isotropic in silico generated networks of different structures, morphologies, and concentrations. For each type of network, the method provides accurate estimates (a few percent) of the average and the standard deviation of the three-dimensional distribution of the pore sizes, defined as the diameters of the largest spheres that can be fit into the pore zones of the entire gel volume. When applied to the analysis of real confocal microscopy images taken on fibrin gels, the method provides an estimate of ξ0 consistent with results from elastic light scattering data. © 2013 Biophysical Society.
Molteni, Matteo; Davide, Magatti; Barbara, Cardinali; Mattia, Rocco; Ferri, Fabio
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/1892921
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