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Table 4 Comparison of resource requirements for methods

From: Comparison of methods for the analysis of airway macrophage particulate load from induced sputum, a potential biomarker of air pollution exposure

Resource Image SXM ImageJ
Equipment required for sputum induction and sample processing Identical specialist equipment and facilities required regardless of analysis method
Image acquisition equipment Microscope with x40 objective and digital image capturing capabilities Microscope with x100a objective and digital image capturing capabilities
Analysis software availability In the public domain – available free of charge In the public domain – available free of charge
Additional image editing software Purchase required Not required
Operating system for analysis software Compatible with Mac operating systems Compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems
File type availability TIFF JPEG, TIFF, GIF, BMP, DICOM, FITS and ‘raw’
Time required for sputum induction and processing Approximately 90–120 min per participant
Time required for image acquisition (median) 15 min 27 min
Time required for image analysis (including image editing if required) (median) 54 min 26 min
  1. aAlthough a x100 objective is recommended for ImageJ methodology, a x60 objective was used in this study due to resource limitations