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A Novel Framework for Cellular Tracking and Mitosis Detection in Dense Phase Contrast Microscopy Images

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4 Author(s)
Ketheesan Thirusittampalam ; Center for Image Processing and Analysis, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland ; M. Julius Hossain ; Ovidiu Ghita ; Paul F. Whelan

The aim of this paper is to detail the development of a novel tracking framework that is able to extract the cell motility indicators and to determine the cellular division (mitosis) events in large time-lapse phase-contrast image sequences. To address the challenges induced by nonstructured (random) motion, cellular agglomeration, and cellular mitosis, the process of automatic (unsupervised) cell tracking is carried out in a sequential manner, where the interframe cell association is achieved by assessing the variation in the local cellular structures in consecutive frames of the image sequence. In our study, a strong emphasis has been placed on the robust use of the topological information in the cellular tracking process and in the development of targeted pattern recognition techniques that were designed to redress the problems caused by segmentation errors, and to precisely identify mitosis using a backward (reversed) tracking strategy. The proposed algorithm has been evaluated on dense phase-contrast cellular data and the experimental results indicate that the proposed algorithm is able to accurately track epithelial and endothelial cells in time-lapse image sequences that are characterized by low contrast and high level of noise. Our algorithm achieved 86.10% overall tracking accuracy and 90.12% mitosis detection accuracy.

Published in:

IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 3 )