Collagen self-assembly, induced alignment and quantitative image analysis

Haffegee, Julian (2002). Collagen self-assembly, induced alignment and quantitative image analysis. MPhil thesis The Open University.



There have been many studies on the in-vitro self assembly of proteins, and on the orientational effects of strong magnetic fields, but no research seems to have been published on the effect of isolated pulsed electric fields on assembling type 1 collagen. In order to examine any effects, it was necessary to study the polymerisation process whilst controlling humidity, pH and the addition of phosphate, which turned out to be critical for the effective alignment of the fibres. Advances in computer image processing allow quantification of both retardations and degree of alignment of weakly biréfringent samples; detecting subtle differences invisible to the eye.

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