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Home > Archives > Volume 10, No 1 (2012) > Article

DOI: 10.14704/nq.2012.10.1.427

A Brief Introduction to Stereology and Sampling Strategies: Basic Concepts of Stereology

Berrin Zuhal Altunkaynak, Mehmet Emin Onger, Muhammed Eyup Altunkaynak, Ebru Ayrancı, Sinan Canan


Stereology (from the Greek stereos = solid) is considered as the spatial interpretation of profiles seen in sections. It is a multidisciplinary science field dealing with the three-dimensional profiles of objects appearing on sectional planes of metallurgical materials or tissues. Stereology supplies practical techniques for obtaining quantitative information about three-dimensional, real-world structures from two-dimensional planar profiles. After acknowledging the fact that the profiles on sections are not true representations of the real objects, the need for stereology in quantitative studies becomes obvious. Stereological methods utilise various specific tools and sampling strategies to provide unbiased and quantitative estimates in order to obtain a wide range of quantitative parameters including the number, size, shape, volume and density. This review aims at to provide some basic knowledge about stereology, stereological terms and sampling strategies.


Stereology; Quantification; Unbiased Methods; Sampling; Stereological Tools

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