Anatomical wood cell analysis is an alternative to wood density analysis with x-rays (as done with WinDENDRO). Wood density, color, mechanical and chemical properties are in effect related to wood structure which in turns is related to climate. By measuring the radial cells (tracheids) size, distribution and their proportion to walls, wood quality can be assessed.
Recent developments in high-quality affordable digital cameras have made anatomical wood cell analysis more accessible than ever.
Wood cell analysis is traditionally done on thin wood slices cut with a microtome. To acquire images of such samples, a microscope with a receptacle tube for a camera attachment and a camera adapter are required. Staining is sometime used to enhance lumen-wall contrasts when acquiring images in translucent light. This is the ideal setup to acquire very high resolution and precise images but the field of view is usually limited so that it is difficult or impossible to view entire rings.
Alternative sample's preparation methods and imaging over larger areas also exists. These are typically based on a scanner or a camera and macro lens and proper lighting. The difficulties with this approach are: to acquire images with good enough contrasts between lumen and walls, to do so without damaging them and to get enough resolution to accurately identify and analyse them. Their advantage is to allow to acquire images of a few annual rings per image, making their analyses easier.
WinCELL can analyse images acquired with scanners or digital cameras. The camera typically have a standard C-mount thread which allows it to be installed on a microscope using an adapter (C-Mount adapte). It can also be placed directly above the wood sample to acquire images with optional lenses. It is interfaced to computer via a fast USB connection. If you plan to use a scanner please inquire about the conditions before purchasing. WinCELL is TWAIN compatible, meaning it can acquire images from a few camera or scanner models.
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