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Microsc Res Tech. 2011 Jan;74(1):58-66. doi: 10.1002/jemt.20874.

Texture analysis of TEM micrographs of alginate gels for cell microencapsulation.

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  • 1Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy. francesco.brun@phd.units.it


In this work, the morphological characteristics of a calcium alginate gel and a binary (gel) mixture composed of (calcium) alginate and lactose-modified chitosan (chitlac) are evaluated and compared to quantify the differences between the two three-dimensional (3D) structures. A set of textural descriptors based on histogram analysis as well as on gray level co-occurrence matrix and on fractal dimension is extracted from transmission electron microscopy micrographs to describe the morphological differences that the images present. The obtained results reveal significant quantitative morphological differences between the calcium alginate gel and the binary gel mixture that were already inferred from rheological experiments, so as to provide a structural basis for developing new encapsulation systems based on such mixed polymer gels.

© 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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