Molecular Devices Introduces MetaMorph NX 2.5 Software with Comprehensive Neuronal Morphology Module
20 Sep 2012

Molecular Devices® today announced the release of version 2.5 of its MetaMorph® NX Microscopy Automation and Image Analysis Software, which now includes modules for the study of neuronal morphology and fiber structures, support for targeted illumination devices, and a high-speed image acquisition mode.

The Neurite Tracing Application Module simplifies the challenging, meticulous tasks associated with neuron research, while the Fiber Tracing Application Module quickly makes sense of complex, interwoven fiber structures. Moreover, added support for targeted illumination devices enables fast synchronization with regions of interest or an exact position in the image, and the new high-speed image acquisition mode allows researchers to record unlimited numbers of rapid changes in cellular function and behavior.

The new software provides a single tool for researchers to use images of any size to rapidly produce quantitative and comparative descriptions of neuronal anatomy. The built-in Sholl Analysis, dendritic spine measurements, and nuclei detection features further add to the ability to conduct a thorough investigation of neurites. Color-coded segmentation overlays clearly delineate the most intricate details of elaborate neuronal networks, including cell bodies, outgrowths, branch points, and spines.

"The Neurite Tracing Application Module automates many counting and quantification procedures that would take hours to perform manually,” said Dr Kenneth A. Barbee, Associate Professor, Drexel University School of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems. “The ability to accurately identify a multitude of neurite outgrowths that cross over, branch, and fragment is impressive."

The Fiber Tracing Application Module uses a simple interface with powerful algorithms to differentiate fibers that cross over each other from fibers that branch from one another, quickly making sense of the entangled webs inherent to most fiber structures. The module supports a wide range of applications, from the study of elongated organisms, such as C. elegans and bacteria, to cytoskeleton investigations and angiogenesis analyses.

Version 2.5 of the MetaMorph NX Software offers a direct interface to Andor Technology‘s Mosaic and FRAPPA targeted illumination devices. A calibration wizard and ribbon-based workflow lead researchers from setup through completion of a variety of applications, including FRAP, FRET, photoactivation, photobleaching, and uncaging of caged compounds.

MetaMorph NX Software Version 2.5 will be showcased at Neuroscience 2012, October 13-17, in New Orleans.

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