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Automated migration analysis based on cell texture: method & reliability

Jianfeng Qin12, Thomas W Chittenden34, Ling Gao2 and Justin D Pearlman12*

Author affiliations

1 Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, 03755, USA

2 Dartmouth Advanced Imaging Center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, One Medical Drive, Lebanon, NH, 03756, USA

3 Angiogenesis Research Center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, One Medical Drive, Lebanon, NH, 03756, USA

4 Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH, 03755, USA

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Citation and License

BMC Cell Biology 2005, 6:9  doi:10.1186/1471-2121-6-9

Published: 3 March 2005

Abstract

Background

In this paper, we present and validate a way to measure automatically the extent of cell migration based on automated examination of a series of digital photographs. It was designed specifically to identify the impact of Second Hand Smoke (SHS) on endothelial cell migration but has broader applications. The analysis has two stages: (1) preprocessing of image texture, and (2) migration analysis.

Results

The output is a graphic overlay that indicates the front lines of cell migration superimposed on each original image, with automated reporting of the distance traversed vs. time. Expert preference compares to manual placement of leading edge shows complete equivalence of automated vs. manual leading edge definition for cell migration measurement.

Conclusion

Our method is indistinguishable from careful manual determinations of cell front lines, with the advantages of full automation, objectivity, and speed.