FibrilJ: ImageJ plugin for fibrils’ diameter and persistence length determination
Application of microscopy to evaluate the morphology and size of filamentous proteins and amyloids requires new and creative approaches to simplify and automate the image processing. The estimation of mean values of fibrils diameter, length and bending stiffness on micrographs is a major challenge. For this purpose we developed an open-source FibrilJ plugin for the ImageJ/FiJi program. It automatically recognizes the fibrils on the surface of a mica, silicon, gold or formvar film and further analyzes them to calculate the distribution of fibrils by diameters, lengths and persistence lengths. The plugin has been validated by the processing of TEM images of fibrils formed by Sup35NM yeast protein and artificially created images of rod-shape objects with predefined parameters. Novel data obtained by SEM for Sup35NM protein fibrils immobilized on silicon and gold substrates are also presented and analyzed.