Histological quantifications

From:Jerry Chi-Yuan Hu <ragnarok@ruf.rice.edu>

Hello Everyone,

It's my first time doing histology, and I my background is engineering -
thus I am looking for numerical ways to quantify histological sections,
such as cell shape, density, orientation, clustering, etc...  For
instance, there are not always defined boundaries when one tissue merges
into the next, and I was wondering if I can separate the two with the aid
of numeric parameters.  


Tissue 1 has cells that are elongated, with the long axis oriented
tangentially to the surface.  It has low cellularity and cells are spaced
apart.  It merges into 

Tissue 2, which as rounder cells that are clustered together 

With a smooth transition of cell shape and cell density, I am hoping to
come up with a scoreing system that uses all these parameters (cell shape,
cluster morphology, axial orientation, etc...) and gives me a number and
then I can use to say, "ah, at 50 um into the tissue, I am still in tissue
1, but at 100 um, I am in tissue 2."  

The reason I am doing this is because I will be dealing with many samples
and I would like to score them all the same way, instead of eye-balling
them with no training in histology.

Any suggestions, literature, or computer programs to point me in the right
direction will be greatly appreciated.

Jerry Hu

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