I am excited to begin working with images of Iron Sucrose nanoparticles. I know that it is used to treat anemia/iron deficiency, but after reading and doing literary research, I know a lot more about it’s uses and the uses of nanoparticles in general. I am looking forward to learning more and working first hand with the images of nanoparticles. I also look forward to learning about the program ImageJ, I had not heard of it before my time here, but after reading about it I have noticed that it is extremely useful for research purposes.
Iron Sucrose is an iron oxyhydroxide core surrounded by a sucrose shell used in the treatment of iron deficiency and anemia. Currently, there is one brand dominating the market. The goal is to compare the brand-name iron sucrose to a generic version and look for similarities. We also want to make sure that the generic brand is reproducible by comparing them in batches. This is done by processing images taken with a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) in ImageJ, a free and open-source image processing software. We use the particle analysis feature to obtain, accurate and consistent particle sizes, areas, axis, etc.
We used the following procedure to process our images:
Procedure for Processing Iron Sucrose Nanoparticle Images using ImageJ
- Starting with the raw grayscale image, apply a pre-processing filter of “Mean” at the intensity of 1.
- Apply a thresholding algorithm. We used one called “Triangle”.
- Using the particle analysis feature, select the options to view outlines and results.
- Save all of the images from steps 1 - 4.
- Rename and save the results. (They will save as an excel file.)
- In excel, record the average and standard deviation for the rectangular area, elliptical area, and minor/major axis.
The most challenging/frustrating part so far has been working with excel. I have never used excel prior to this internship, and in order to complete my tasks I had to learn how to navigate the system. However, I have learned that it is a very handy and useful tool that I will most likely have to use often in the future so I am glad that I have learned to use it.
So far, I have learned quite a lot about the concept of nanoparticles through primarily literary research. I learned about their uses, functions, and that they hold great importance in the future of medicine. I have also learned about the importance of using computers to analyze images of nanoparticles rather than doing manual measurements. Using computer software/programs instead of manual measurement usually yields better, more accurate, and consistent results.
The purpose of my project was to determine the best image processing procedure to create images that can be used to determine the size and general shape of each particle. That information could then be used to compare iron sucrose from different sources. Hopefully, my information will assist in proving that one source of iron sucrose is the same as another. This will potentially provide more options of iron sucrose for people. The procedure I have developed could also be used in the future on similar images.
I did not attend the MAYA conference.
I enjoyed my time in the lab working with graduate students and professors on a project that, to me, seemed important. I am a lot more interested in the scientific research process now than I was before. It may even be something I want to do in the future. This experience was very valuable for me and my future in the science field. On top of getting familiar with a lab setting, I was able to articulate scientific information in the form of a presentation to people with a lot more knowledge than me. I believe it is a good thing to not always be the smartest person in the room, working with people that had a significantly larger amount of knowledge and experience allowed me to learn something new every day. I am glad this program was a part of my summer and I enjoyed all the time I spent with the funny, friendly, and knowledgeable people in the lab.