Lung Fibrosis

Mechanisms related to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) in humans can be investigated using a preclinical model of bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis. Histologically stained whole slide lung sections can be analysed to classify and quantify established lesional (fibrotic) areas and normal parenchyma as regions of interest (ROI). Within these stained ROI, the amount of collagen deposition and number of nuclei can be accurately quantified and the data can be used to determine the effect of drug treatment on lung fibrosis.

Whole fibrotic lung section showing parenchyma (blue), lesional area (orange), basal collagen (green) and white space (yellow) overlay

Whole fibrotic lung section showing parenchyma (blue), lesional area (orange), basal collagen (green) and white space (yellow) overlay

Analysis Approach

Histological stains such as Picrosirius Red or Masson’s Trichrome can be used to reveal inflammatory and fibrotic changes within a bleomycin treated lung. A custom algorithm is developed  to accurately identify and segment areas of established fibrotic lesion (lesional area) and normal parenchyma within the whole tissue section. Levels of collagen deposition and cell nuclei within the lesional area and parenchyma can be accurately quantified and classified.

Magnified fibrotic lung sections showing collagen (yellow) and nuclei (dark blue) being detection in lesional ROI (orange)

Quantitative Readouts

  • Total area of lung tissue section
  • Area of normal parenchyma and established fibrotic lesion (lesional area)
  • % lesional area relative to the whole tissue section
  • Area of collagen deposition within the lesional area and parenchyma
  • % collagen per region of interest (ROI)
  • Total number of nuclei per ROI
  • Number of nuclei per mm2 ROI
  • Assessment over whole slides rather than individual field of view

Bleomycin Induced Lung Fibrosis Data


  • Custom algorithms allow accurate classification of regions of interest (ROI)
  • Accurate segmentation of normal parenchyma and lesional area within the whole tissue section
  • The ability to quantify and classify the area of collagen staining within each ROI
  • The ability to quantify nuclei within each ROI
  • Objectively applied analysis across all study slides
  • Whole slide quantitative analysis increases the robustness of the data
  • Whole slide image overlays of ROI, collagen and nuclei detection returned to the Client