Tuesday, February 19, 2008

LS2KMacro – Status

The macro for the MPM system is progressing, and the current version implements 4 out of the 5 original requirements.

- From the macro GUI, the user can enter the number of columns (X direction) and rows (Y direction) to be included in the scan.

- An input box allows the user to define the degree of overlap between the frames.

- The scan can be interrupted in mid-operation by clicking the “Stop” button. Then, the user can either continue the scan from the current position by clicking the “Resume” button, or the “Start” button can be used to start a new scan from the beginning. If the user-defined settings such as X and Y frames or overlap are changed, these new settings will be used the next time Start is pressed.

- A check-box is used to provide the option of homing back to the starting position at the end of the run.

This version of the code has been tested on our system using LaserSharp2000. The features described above worked successfully, and we were able to view the images scanned by the MPM after each movement of the XY stage to the next frame.

This macro code and installation instructions can be found at http://dev.drbio.cornell.edu/lt222/LS2Kmacro/downloads.html.
Look for files under the heading "a.92". Please note that some features of the GUI are for development purposes only (such as the listbox and cheesy graphic), and this will not be the final format of the interface. Any comments/suggestions about features wanted in the final format would definitely be appreciated!

As for the next step… I am currently working on automatically saving the image files directly from the macro. I am also working on a method for taking z-stacks of selected frames. I have been developing one possible method for selecting the frames graphically. This involves overlaying a grid (each square represents one frame) on an image of the entire field of view, and the user can click on each frame they want a z-stack of. Another possible method would be selecting the frames numerically. I am also getting input from MPM users on methods they might like. (Again, any comments would be appreciated.) Another feature I will try to add in future versions is the option to move the stage to a user-selected position at the end of the scan.