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Gridding microarray images remains, at present, a major bottleneck. It requires human intervention which causes variations of the gene expression results. In this paper, an original and fully automatic approach for accurately locating a distorted grid structure in a microarray image is presented. The gridding process is expressed as an optimization problem which is solved by using a genetic algorithm (GA). The GA determines the line-segments constituting the grid structure. The proposed method has been compared with existing software tools as well as with a recently published technique. For this purpose, several real and artificial microarray images containing more than one million spots have been used. The outcome has shown that the accuracy of the proposed method achieves the high value of 94% and it outperforms the existing approaches. It is also noise-resistant and yields excellent results even under adverse conditions such as arbitrary grid rotations, and the appearance of various spot sizes.
Date of Publication: June 2008