Polymorphonuclear (PMN) motility is currently determined by a method using chemotactic chambers with micropore filters. PMN locomotive capacity is measured by evaluating the maximum distance travelled by the cells, or by counting the number of cells which have moved through the filter. Although in recent years some attempts to improve the analysis of chemotaxis data by computer-assisted systems have been made no technique has been shown capable of both measurement and correlation of these parameters in real time. In the present paper we describe an automated technique, based on a workstation capable of exploring microporous filters employed in chemotactic chambers and of measuring PMN motility in a reliable, reproducible, rapid manner, independent of the subjectivity of the operator. The measurement is carried out by custom software capable of undertaking computerized image analysis of microscopic fields acquired by a TV camera and of driving the motorized microscopic table. Depth of migration, cell distribution at each plane, correlation index of the random behaviour with the model described by a gaussian distribution and data about the patient or assay under study, are computed, displayed, stored in a data base and printed in real time.
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