Analysis of the Shape of Nail-Fold Capillaries

People involved:

  • Prof. Bryan Jones
  • Mr Mustafa Oral
  • Mr Colin Morris
  • Professor Francis Ring

Funding: Turkish Government Educational Grant £30,300
Start date: 1994, PhD project successfully completed 1998

Summary of Research

Blood vessels at the base of the finger nail are known as nail-fold capillaries. They are visible at magnifications of about 20 in conditions of good illumination.

The capillaries’ shape is indicative of injuries received during heavy work such as operating a pneumatic drill, and may show the onset of certain diseases which are difficult to diagnose. Image processing and pattern recognition techniques were used to analyse and classify the shapes of nail-fold capillaries, to determine the density of certain types of capillaries as a percentage of the total, and to measure their size and frequency of occurrence.

Summarising publication (MS Word format, 76 kb)