Project promotion materials:

Project Homepage:

Data collections can be seen on:!/q=*%3A*/p=1/tab=collection/group=Deakin%20University/subject=confocal%20microscope

Instruments where data are captured/transferred from:

confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM)

Software is available at:



Project Members:

Mary She (Data Source Administrator,

Megan Capicchiano (Project Manager,

ANDS Contact:

Richard Ferrers (

Project Status:


Enhancing Filtration Membrane Fouling Data Collection for Water Treatment Research

Deakin University

Project Description

Final Report:

The Enhancing Filtration Membrane Fouling Data Collection for Water Treatment Research Project (DC20B) was undertaken by Deakin University to enhance the capacities of confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) for filtration membrane fouling data creation. To achieve this, the project developed sophisticated 3d image processing/analysis software. The project also generated metadata for data collections produced through the confocal laser scanning microscope and provided this data to Research Data Australia (RDA) for wider consumption.
The project promoted appropriate data management, publishing, sharing and re-use of research data associated with the study of organic fouling in the membrane filtration process. The primary fields of research that the project delivered data collections for were ‘Polymers and Plastics’ and ‘Environmental Technologies’.
The new image analysis codes based on CLSM imaging developed in this project provide a sophisticated analytic tool for collecting comprehensive set of membrane fouling data in a mixed species environment. The analytic tool and the metadata collected enables better understanding of the membrane fouling phenomenon, and will help to facilitate new anti-fouling membranes for water treatment and desalination applications in Australia and worldwide.
While the software developed for this project has immediate benefits for Deakin researchers studying and working in the field of Water Treatment Research, long term benefits are likely to be realised by a wide range of research areas including, but not limited to, membrane materials and/or surface treatment, water/wastewater treatment and desalination research. The metadata records published on RDA for this project may be used by a wide range of industries and researchers in the field of membrane materials and water treatment.

This software (FoulantProfiler) has been delivered to an open source repository and can be accessed at Also available on this website is the supporting documentation including user and technical manuals to enable installation and use of the software. The project also implemented ReDBox (an open source research metadata repository application) to capture collection level metadata for the research data collections being provided to RDA for this project.

For Deakin, the development of the FoulantProfiler software enables a more detailed level of analysis to occur ultimately resulting in a better understanding of the membrane fouling phenomenon. The implementation of ReDBox and the DataPortal Application mean that metadata (both collection level and technical) can be shared with a wider audience opening up opportunities for research collaboration in the future. Researchers using the confocal microscope at Deakin can now easily capture and transfer files to Deakin’s storage system as well as define the collection level metadata for their data collection by using ReDBox.

Project Plan: Membrane filtration widely used by water/wastewater treatment and desalination industries. However, membrane fouling is one of the most severe performance limiting problems that has negative economic impact. The mechanisms governing membrane fouling is still not fully understood due to the complex nature of foulants and their interaction with membranes, especially in a mixed species environment. This project aims to develop image processing/analysis codes which will create new membrane fouling data from 3 dimensional images obtained by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). In addition, we will also develop tools to capture the instrument, processing and sample metadata. It is anticipated that the software developed and the collection of membrane fouling data and the accompanying metadata will significantly enhance the collaborations between researchers in membrane materials and water treatment at Deakin and other organizations to tackle the complex membrane fouling issues in water/wastewater and desalination and secure long-??term quality water supply to Australian households and industries. The deliverables derived from this project will potentially be used and reused by many membrane materials scientists, water researchers and environmentalists around the world.

Data Type:

raw image data acquired by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) from filtration membranes in a mixed foulants environment and under different filtration operational conditions

High Level Software Functionality:

Features: "Modifying existing proprietary software to capture CLSM image data, to convert these to processed images through image processing and analysis and to derive new data as well as capture associated metadata which describe the sample, the instrument and the processes used in the generation of the derived data);
2) Convert the codes to a packaged version of the software and deposit it in an open source repository;
3) Provide a system for defining data collections;
4) Store the raw data and the metadata captured in this project in Deakin Servers and in the Library -?? Deakin Research Online (DRO);
5) Feed the collections automatically into ARDC";