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Selection and Tuning of a Fast and Simple Phase-Contrast Microscopy Image Segmentation Algorithm for Measuring Myoblast Growth Kinetics in an Automated Manner

  • Pierre-Marc Juneau (a1), Alain Garnier (a1) and Carl Duchesne (a1)


Acquiring and processing phase-contrast microscopy images in wide-field long-term live-cell imaging and high-throughput screening applications is still a challenge as the methodology and algorithms used must be fast, simple to use and tune, and as minimally intrusive as possible. In this paper, we developed a simple and fast algorithm to compute the cell-covered surface (degree of confluence) in phase-contrast microscopy images. This segmentation algorithm is based on a range filter of a specified size, a minimum range threshold, and a minimum object size threshold. These parameters were adjusted in order to maximize the F-measure function on a calibration set of 200 hand-segmented images, and its performance was compared with other algorithms proposed in the literature. A set of one million images from 37 myoblast cell cultures under different conditions were processed to obtain their cell-covered surface against time. The data were used to fit exponential and logistic models, and the analysis showed a linear relationship between the kinetic parameters and passage number and highlighted the effect of culture medium quality on cell growth kinetics. This algorithm could be used for real-time monitoring of cell cultures and for high-throughput screening experiments upon adequate tuning.


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Selection and Tuning of a Fast and Simple Phase-Contrast Microscopy Image Segmentation Algorithm for Measuring Myoblast Growth Kinetics in an Automated Manner

  • Pierre-Marc Juneau (a1), Alain Garnier (a1) and Carl Duchesne (a1)


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