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The interrelationship of cilia and the order of wave directions are important factors that determine the effectiveness of cilia to transport materials in mucociliary systems of the respiratory tract. The interrelationship of cilia and the directional disorder of the ciliary metachronal wave were analyzed using digital microscopic images. The degree of synchronization between ciliary beats was determined by the correlation factor between two different spots. To find out the uniphase directions of beating cilia, principal axes of inertia were applied to the two-dimensional correlation map calculated from sequential ciliary images. The standard deviation of determined wave directions in a region of interest (ROI) was defined as a measure of metachronal wave disorder. The pooled mean of metachronal wave disorder was 23.4 ± 8.79° in ROIs of 8 μm × 8 μm and 25.4 ± 6.46° in 32 μm × 24 μm from the sphenoid sinus mucosa of five normal subjects. Our result shows that there is a considerable variation in metachronal wave directions of cilia beating on the epithelium.
Date of Publication: March 2002