Document Type


Degree Name



Dept. of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology


Oregon Health & Science University


Hearing lose affects 360 million people worldwide and a largely preventable contributor is excessive noise. Exposure to loud noise damages the delicate hair cells of the cochlea. The mechanism by which this damage occurs has been linked to overproduction of reactive oxygen species in hair cell mitochondria. Characterization of noise-induced changes in mitochondria has previously been hampered by the lack of microscope technology with adequate resolution. The advent of high-resolution optical imaging techniques has allowed researchers to capture images of cellular structures, such as mitochondria, in intact fixed and live-cells. While imaging techniques have made great strides in the last 20 years, visualization and analysis techniques for super resolution images are lagging behind. Bio-image informatics is an emerging field that aims to employ computational methods to glean additional information from the large image datasets generated by today’s high resolution imaging techniques. Available analysis tools are often inaccessible to researchers due to steep learning curves, the need for computer programming experience or the high cost of commercially available software packages. In this capstone project we demonstrate the use of both ImageJ open-source software and commercially available Imaris® software to characterize mitochondria in cochlear hair cells. The application of available image analysis software to today’s multidimensional high-resolution imaging data is crucial to understanding the role of mitochondrial changes in noise-induced hearing loss.




School of Medicine

Available for download on Friday, December 31, 9999