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Robust quantification of in vitro angiogenesis through image analysis

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5 Author(s)
Niemisto, A. ; Dept. of Pathology, Univ. of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA ; Dunmire, V. ; Yli-Harja, O. ; Wei Zhang
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An automated image analysis method for quantification of in vitro angiogenesis is presented. The method is designed for in vitro angiogenesis assays that are based on co-culturing endothelial cells with fibroblasts. Such assays are used in many current studies in which anti-angiogenic agents for the treatment of cancer are being sought. This search requires accurate quantification of the stimulatory and inhibitory effects of the different agents. The quantification method gives lengths and sizes of the tubule complexes as well as the numbers of junctions in each of them. The method is tested with a set of test images obtained with a commercially available in vitro angiogenesis assay. The results correctly indicate the inhibitory effect of suramin and the stimulatory effect of vascular endothelial growth factor. Moreover, the image analysis method is shown to be robust against variations in illumination. We have implemented a software package that utilizes the methods. The software as well as a set of test images are available at

Published in:

Medical Imaging, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

April 2005

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