A Simple Image Analysis Method for Evaluating Cell Binding to Derivatized Beads

We have previously developed a novel method to determine the presence or absence of cell surface lectin receptors using derivatized agarose beads and have used many different derivatized beads in examining other cell surface properties. Thus, we have used beads that were previously utilized mainly for chromatography purposes in a new approach to study cell surface histochemistry. The previous studies analysed cell-bead binding using subjective plus-minus descriptions that suffered from lack of quantification. We needed a quantitative method in this new approach for histochemical cell surface studies. Here we describe a new method using image analysis of photographs that we developed to solve the quantification problem. The histogram feature of Adobe Photoshop was used to analyse cell binding to beads that were isolated by computer. The method is simple and works as more cells bind to the beads, the beads appear darker in color, a feature easily and precisely quantified using Adobe Photoshop.