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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Physiology - Surgery

A Cost-Effective Transparency-Based Digital Imaging for Efficient and Accurate Wound Area Measurement
Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Author: Pei-Nan Li et al.

by Pei-Nan Li, Hong Li, Mo-Li Wu, Shou-Yu Wang, Qing-You Kong, Zhen Zhang, Yuan Sun, Jia Liu, De-Cheng Lv

Wound measurement is an objective and direct way to trace the course of wound healing and to evaluate therapeutic efficacy. Nevertheless, the accuracy and efficiency of the current measurement methods need to be improved. Taking the advantages of reliability of transparency tracing and the accuracy of computer-aided digital imaging, a transparency-based digital imaging approach is established, by which data from 340 wound tracing were collected from 6 experimental groups (8 rats/group) at 8 experimental time points (Day 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14 and 16) and orderly archived onto a transparency model sheet. This sheet was scanned and its image was saved in JPG form. Since a set of standard area units from 1 mm2 to 1 cm2 was integrated into the sheet, the tracing areas in JPG image were measured directly, using the “Magnetic lasso tool” in Adobe Photoshop program. The pixel values/PVs of individual outlined regions were obtained and recorded in an average speed of 27 second/region. All PV data were saved in an excel form and their corresponding areas were calculated simultaneously by the formula of Y (PV of the outlined region)/X (PV of standard area unit) × Z (area of standard unit). It took a researcher less than 3 hours to finish area calculation of 340 regions. In contrast, over 3 hours were expended by three skillful researchers to accomplish the above work with traditional transparency-based method. Moreover, unlike the results obtained traditionally, little variation was found among the data calculated by different persons and the standard area units in different sizes and shapes. Given its accurate, reproductive and efficient properties, this transparency-based digital imaging approach would be of significant values in basic wound healing research and clinical practice.
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