Fiber materials offer a high potential for improving the surface characteristics of medical implants. For quality assurance of nano- and microfiber structures the morphology is inspected by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) as a standard method. Vast quantities of image data have to be evaluated. Usual practice for obtaining the fiber diameters is the manually setting of measurement points. The software DiameterJ which runs as plugin in ImageJ automatically computes fiber diameters. Here we investigated its capabilities and limitations by comparing the evaluation of selected sample SEM images of electrospun fibers. In this study the fibers of three examplary images specified by different contrast and fiber morphology were analyzed by using varied segmentation algorithms. The results are displayed in bar charts of frequency distribution. Additionally the computed fiber diameters were compared to manual measurements. Depending on various image properties the segmentation process works more or less reliable, and fault data of incomplete segmented fibers are computed. Often the results are eligible, but frequently DiameterJ generates data resembling to thin fibers, which are not present in the image. In some cases the peaks of fault data are much higher than peaks of real fibers. In consequence misinterpretation of data cannot be avoided. DiameterJ is a validated tool with the ability to generate reliable results. Future work on improving the segmentation algorithms can refine computed evaluation.
© 2020 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston
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