SparkMaster

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Q: Where can I find further information about SparkMaster?
A: SparkMaster is published in the American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology. Click here to download the pdf version or here to see the pubmed reference.

Q: Why are the spark amplitudes in SparkMaster exactly 1 unit smaller than with the analysis program I used before?
A: SparkMaster calculates the spark AMPLITUDE (deltaF/Fo), i.e. the difference between the background and the peak fluorescence. If you prefer to report the spark peak fluorescence you can add 1 to the amplitude calculated by SparkMaster.

Q: Can I use SparkMaster to analyze calcium sparks in two dimensions?
A: No. So far, SparkMaster can only analyze calcium sparks which were acquired in line-scan mode. There are two papers published that describe the analysis of Ca sparks in stacks of 2D images. We have put links to these papers on the Links site.

Q: Can I remove individual sparks from the datatable?
A: Yes. When using ImageJ 1.38p or higher, you can select single rows in the datatable and remove them by cutting them.

Q: I have problems opening line-scan images in ImageJ that were acquired on a Zeiss confocal microscope (e.g. Zeiss Pascal). The LSM reader does not seem to work for these files.
A: The easiest way to open these images in ImageJ is to change the extension from .lsm to .tif so that they can be opened as tif files. If you can not see the extension of the filename deactivate "Hide extensions for known file types" in the Tools/Folder Options/View menu. 

Q: How can I generate 3D-projections of calcium sparks as shown to the left?
A: These images can easily be created using the Interactive 3D Surface Plot plugin for ImageJ. After installing this plugin you can try the following steps: Run SparkMaster on the image you want to use for the 3D-projection and choose "F/Fo" as output option. Using ImageJ, duplicate the region of the F/Fo image you want to show in the 3D-projection (Ctrl+Shift+D). Adjust brightness and contrast (Ctrl+Shift+C) by clicking "Auto" and then "Apply". Run the Interactive 3D Surface Plot plugin and adjust the settings.

Q: I tried to download the pdf-version of the SparkMaster paper but I do not have a password. Is there any other way I can get the pdf?
A: This happens when your institution does not have a subscription to AJP-Cell Physiology.   Email us and we send you the pdf.

Q: I have further questions. How can I contact you?
A: You can email us here. If you encounter any problems when using SparkMaster let us know. We also welcome positive feedback!