General Research Topics > Cell Biology

cell culture density - image analysis

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I need to analyze the 2D density of my cell cultures and our lab has no protocol/software. I've looked a lot online, but can't find anything. Does anyone have any good software or suggestions?

2D estimates of a population distributed in a flat sheet provides a reliable estimate of the population in the culture. It all depends on what you want to do. If the objects you want to count can be seen in a single field of view then many software packages can provide what you need. If you want to count individual cells and the population is large, then you might want to consider estimation methods. Another considereation is how easy it is to identify a cell. Does it stand out from the background? Is there a need to differentiate cells within the culture? Do the cells form clumps that need to identified as individual cells?

Can you tell us more about what you are doing?

Without knowing much about what you want to do, here are some cheap image analysis options:

(1) You can take pictures and then print them out and merely count.

(2) Download NIH Image J and use that.

The devil is in the details.

How you take pictures and count is the essence of getting the right answer. How do you choose to take pictures? Do you take pictures of representative areas? Is the magnification needed? How many pictures are needed?

How much counting is needed? Well that's the easy thing to answer. If you count more than 250 cells you are wasting your time. But how do you handle cells along the edges of the image?

You might take a look at Howard and Reed's book "Unbiased Stereology" to get a handle on how to correctly count cells.

Here is a tool that might help


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