In the field of biology there are many problems that call for microscopic image analysis. Prominent among these is the study of the change of shape and of the motion of single cells. Such changes are difficult to analyze in real time; taking series of photographs, for example, and evaluating these photographs by microdensitometry and subsequent computer analysis are rather time-consuming processes. We present here another solution to this problem, using equipment that should be available even in the modestly equipped laboratory: a microscope, a scanning system such as a video monitor, and a microcomputer that can be interfaced with the scanner. The necessary procedures of data acquisition and data processing are discussed in detail.
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