Advice on densitometry

A.J.Cann nna at
Wed Aug 23 06:29:35 EST 1995

Rich Miller <millerr at> wrote:

>1.  It seems to me that the easiest (and cheapest) alternative is to buy 
>a grey-scale scanner that can create computer-readable TIF or BMP files, 
>and then use an image analysis program (like SigmaGel?) to convert the 
>density values to area-under-curve or volume measures?  But I don't know 
>enough about the physics or the scanning system to know if I'll get 
>accurate quantitation with the approach: will the numbers in the TIF or 
>BMP files be well calibrated with the density in the original image?

The (free) NIH-Image software is excellent for analysing TIFF images 
created in this way (you can FTP this from the usual places). It depends 
how demanding you are of your data, clearly, this approach is not as good 
as a phosphorimager, but if it's all you've got, it works fine for most 
straightforward applications.

Dr Alan J. Cann  PhD,   Department of Microbiology & Immunology,
University of Leicester,  P.O. Box 138,  Medical Sciences Building,
University Road, Leicester LE1 9HN,  UK.
Email: nna at

More information about the Immuno mailing list