Toward an Automated System for the Analysis of Cell Behavior: Cellular Event Detection and Cell Tracking in Time-lapse Live Cell Microscopy

SeungIl Huh
doctoral dissertation, tech. report CMU-RI-TR-13-06, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, March, 2013


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Abstract
Time-lapse live cell imaging has been increasingly employed by biological and biomedical researchers to understand the underlying mechanisms in cell physiology and development by investigating behavior of cells. This trend has led to a huge amount of image data, the analysis of which becomes a bottleneck in related re- search. Consequently, how to efficiently analyze the data is emerging as one of the major challenges in the fields.

Computer vision analysis of non-fluorescent microscopy images, representa- tively phase-contrast microscopy images, promises to realize a long-term monitor- ing of live cell behavior with minimal perturbation and human intervention. To take a step forward to such a system, this thesis proposes computer vision algorithms that monitor cell growth, migration, and differentiation by detecting three cellular events—mitosis (cell division), apoptosis (programmed cell death), and differentiation— and tracking individual cells. Among the cellular events, to the best our knowledge, apoptosis and a certain type of differentiation, namely muscle myotubes, have never been detected without fluorescent labeling. We address these challenging prob- lems by developing computer vision algorithms adopting phase contrast microscopy. We also significantly improve the accuracy of mitosis detection and cell tracking in phase contrast microscopy over previous methods, particularly under non-trivial conditions, such as high cell density or confluence. We demonstrate the usefulness of our methods in biological research by analyzing cell behavior in scratch wound healing assays. The automated system that we are pursuing would lead to a new paradigm of biological research by enabling quantitative and individualized assess- ment in behavior of a large population of intact cells.

Notes
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Medical Robotics Technology Center
Associated Lab(s) / Group(s): Tissue Engineering
Associated Project(s): Cell Tracking
Number of pages: 177

Text Reference
SeungIl Huh, "Toward an Automated System for the Analysis of Cell Behavior: Cellular Event Detection and Cell Tracking in Time-lapse Live Cell Microscopy ," doctoral dissertation, tech. report CMU-RI-TR-13-06, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, March, 2013

BibTeX Reference
@phdthesis{Huh_2013_7405,
   author = "SeungIl Huh",
   title = "Toward an Automated System for the Analysis of Cell Behavior: Cellular Event Detection and Cell Tracking in Time-lapse Live Cell Microscopy ",
   booktitle = "",
   school = "Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University",
   month = "March",
   year = "2013",
   number= "CMU-RI-TR-13-06",
   address= "Pittsburgh, PA",
}