Motion and change study via image analysis

Static image processing provides tremendous insights for a wide array of research areas. Analysis of phenomena that change with time is also possible when time-lapse imaging has been performed. There are many advantages to dynamic studies of this type. One is the ability to analyze things that happen over very short or very long time scales. Another is the study of motion. Taking this approach means we can use something as simple as a phone camera movie to develop a sophisticated and quantitative analysis.

UNSW proxy

UNSW library has a great many journal subscriptions you can use to access sources for your research. We often need to work with these sources when we are off-campus, but the library restricts access to those within its network. A proxy server allows us to be “within UNSW’s network” even when we are far from campus. Here’s how to use ours. Let’s say I need to download the colloidosome article below: You see the PDF link is greyed out and if I click on it will be told I don’t have access.

Group Bibliography

Any group has a lineage and history that has informed its focus and expertise. We are a fairly interdisciplinary group, blending engineering, physics, chemistry, foods, and biology, and the below texts are recommended as introductory and reference materials for anyone wanting to deepen or broaden their pursuit of complex fluids behaviour with us. Depending on your project, some will be of more use than others. I’ve grouped them below into three tiers, higher tiers indicating greater difficulty or specialisation, spanning several subjects.

Mostly particle tracking with some Python links

A lot of our microstructural work is performed in concert with microrheological measurements using microscopic observations of colloidal tracer particles moving within a complex fluid. The analysis of these movies is easy these days, thanks to people who developed a number of open and freely available routines to ease the initial steps: Particle tracking microrheology is performed by many folks using IDL: Particle tracking using IDL or Matlab routines: The Matlab Particle Tracking Code Repository

How do I write an article?

Writing is a part of any honours or PhD project, and it usually models itself on published scientific works like journal articles. Everyone has a different style and approach, but one thing you will always hear from me is to START WRITING EARLY. Beginning researchers almost always assume they should wait until they are done all experiments before beginning writing, but you should start as soon as possible. This is because writing requires organization to form a narrative.

ImageJ - touching circles

Image processing saves a LOT of time in your research, but we can’t always rely on the default menu choices to do everything, even in fantastic software like ImageJ. One need of microfluidics researchers is the separate size analysis of spherical (circular in 2D) droplets that are very similar in size but are mostly touching. Most image analysis approaches require you to have separate particles in your sample before they can be automatically identified during processing, so to analyze an image like the one below we need to perform some extra pre-processing steps.