Laboratories

Many laboratories worldwide have elected Aphelion™ as their platform of choice for image analysis and quantization. Laboratory users really appreciate the following capabilities which are available in the standard Aphelion environment:

  • A very comprehensive library of operators to process basic and complex images.
  • A macro recorder to automate the processing task, without having to use sophisticated programming tools. Tools to process a series of images are also available.
  • A set of software interfaces to control scientific equipment such as cameras, scanners, microscopes, automatic stages.
  • An open environment to develop stand-alone applications, with a user-friendly graphical user interface in the Windows environment.

To better illustrate the power of the Aphelion software used in the fields of microscopy, let us describe three typical applications:

Example 1: Material Sciences
Equipment: Optical microscope with a digital camera
Application: Grain sizing

Aphelion fully controls the camera mounted on the microscope, displays the live and frozen images, and controls the stage of the microscope and its motion. In addition it calibrates the image by defining the size of pixels in X and Y directions, and extracts grains.

Grains are automatically segmented using sophisticated tools available in Aphelion, and users can later use Aphelion's Binary Image Editor to edit the image and correct the result of the detection. Finally, measurements are computed, such as the size distribution and the boundary length. All measurements are corrected taking into account the size of the field of analysis. ASTM measurements can also be computed using the intercept numbers.

Original image

Original image

Skiz

Skiz

Final image

Final image

Grid

Grid


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Example 2: Biology and Anatomo-Pathology
Equipment: Optical microscope equipped with an automatic stage able to support multiple slides, video camera and frame grabber board
Application: Immuno-marker analysis

Aphelion can fully control the camera and the stage motion in the X, Y and Z directions. The user defines the area to be analyzed, and then the software automatically scans the area and grabs successive images. Multiple regions can be grabbed with possible overlap between regions. If the stage is moved manually, then Image Montage (an optional module) is used to reconstruct the large field of view from the successive small images.

The analysis includes the detection of markers (brown cells) and the computation of measurements such as size, count and percentage of marked cells over the whole cell population. Originally, the macro was developed on a finite set of test images, but later validated on thousands of images. It is now used in routine in many laboratories worldwide.

Original image

Original image

Cell detection

Cell detection

Size distribution

Size distribution


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Example 3: All
Equipment: Dependent on the application
Application: Development of automatic image analysis algorithms using Aphelion

A set of JPEG images is acquired using Aphelion or a third-party software. All images are stored in a database on PC's hard drive. This set of images is later used to develop and validate the algorithm.

From the Graphical User Interface, the user selects the functions which are the best suited for the application. The user, supported by the Aphelion's GUI interface, sets the parameters for each function. All functions are automatically recorded in a macro-command file, and measurements are output on the screen, and if wished, exported to Excel.

Once the macro is working, it is run on all images just by adding a loop in the macro. If desired, the operator parameters can be modified, and fine-tuned to insure a fully automatic process. Later, the macro can be run from the GUI, or easily converted into a Visual Basic, Delphi or VC++ stand-alone application calling for Aphelion's ActiveX components. In the latter case, a custom GUI is developed outside the Aphelion environment, that can address the needs of a wider market and non imaging experts.

Original image

Scanning electron microscope

Cell detection

Optical microscope


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