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Quantification of changes in intracellular free Ca2+ concentrations [Ca2+]i is fundamental to the understanding of the physiology of single cells in response to both environmental and endogenous stimuli. Here we present easy to use freeware that allows especially the evaluation of [Ca2+]i signals in complex and mixed cultures. The program CaFFEE (Calcium Fluorescent Flash Evaluating Engine) enables the user to evaluate the response of hundreds of cells to treatments that influence [Ca2+]i. CaFFEE processes large quantities of image data, automatically identifies individual cells in mixed, heterogeneous populations, and evaluates their fluorescence signal. All data are exported in spreadsheet format, and data on thousands of cells can be batch-processed. Moreover, the program optimizes the visual representation of time-lapse image data for user-guided data exploration (setting of parameters for semi-automated data processing). The freeware allows the standardized and transparent processing of imaging data independent of the platform used to generate the data.
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