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This article is part of the supplement: Eighth International Conference on Bioinformatics (InCoB2009): Bioinformatics

Open Access Proceedings

Sub-population analysis based on temporal features of high content images

Merlin Veronika12*, James Evans4, Paul Matsudaira13, Roy Welsch15 and Jagath Rajapakse12

Author Affiliations

1 Computation and Systems Biology, Singapore-MIT Alliance, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637460

2 Bioinformatics Research Centre, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637553

3 Department of Biological Science, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117543

4 Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA

5 Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA

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BMC Bioinformatics 2009, 10(Suppl 15):S4  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-10-S15-S4

Published: 3 December 2009



High content screening techniques are increasingly used to understand the regulation and progression of cell motility. The demand of new platforms, coupled with availability of terabytes of data has challenged the traditional technique of identifying cell populations by manual methods and resulted in development of high-dimensional analytical methods.


In this paper, we present sub-populations analysis of cells at the tissue level by using dynamic features of the cells. We used active contour without edges for segmentation of cells, which preserves the cell morphology, and autoregressive modeling to model cell trajectories. The sub-populations were obtained by clustering static, dynamic and a combination of both features. We were able to identify three unique sub-populations in combined clustering.


We report a novel method to identify sub-populations using kinetic features and demonstrate that these features improve sub-population analysis at the tissue level. These advances will facilitate the application of high content screening data analysis to new and complex biological problems.