New algorithms for the analysis of live-cell images acquired in phase contrast microscopy

Authors: Juneau, Pierre-Marc
Advisor: Duchesne, CarlGarnier, Alain
Abstract: Automated cell detection and characterization is important in many research fields such as wound healing, embryo development, immune system studies, cancer research, parasite spreading, tissue engineering, stem cell research and drug research and testing. Studying in vitro cellular behavior via live-cell imaging and high-throughput screening involves thousands of images and vast amounts of data, and automated analysis tools relying on machine vision methods and non-intrusive methods such as phase contrast microscopy (PCM) are a necessity. However, there are still some challenges to overcome, since PCM images are difficult to analyze because of the bright halo surrounding the cells and blurry cell-cell boundaries when they are touching. The goal of this project was to develop image processing algorithms to analyze PCM images in an automated fashion, capable of processing large datasets of images to extract information related to cellular viability and morphology. To develop these algorithms, a large dataset of myoblasts images acquired in live-cell imaging (in PCM) was created, growing the cells in either a serum-supplemented (SSM) or a serum-free (SFM) medium over several passages. As a result, algorithms capable of computing the cell-covered surface and cellular morphological features were programmed in Matlab®. The cell-covered surface was estimated using a range filter, a threshold and a minimum cut size in order to look at the cellular growth kinetics. Results showed that the cells were growing at similar paces for both media, but their growth rate was decreasing linearly with passage number. The undecimated wavelet transform multivariate image analysis (UWT-MIA) method was developed, and was used to estimate cellular morphological features distributions (major axis, minor axis, orientation and roundness distributions) on a very large PCM image dataset using the Gabor continuous wavelet transform. Multivariate data analysis performed on the whole database (around 1 million PCM images) showed in a quantitative manner that myoblasts grown in SFM were more elongated and smaller than cells grown in SSM. The algorithms developed through this project could be used in the future on other cellular phenotypes for high-throughput screening and cell culture control applications.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2015
Open Access Date: 23 April 2018
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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