Tracking and quantitative analysis of dynamic movements of cells and particles

Autoren Karl Rohr
William J. Godinez
Nathalie Harder
Stefan Wörz
Julian Mattes
Wolfgang Tvaruskó
Roland Eils
Titel Tracking and quantitative analysis of dynamic movements of cells and particles
Typ Artikel
Journal Cold Spring Harbor Protocol
Nummer 6
Band 2010
Abteilung BDA
Monat June
Jahr 2010
Seiten doi:10.1101/pdb.top80
SCCH ID# 1136

Understanding complex cellular processes requires investigating the underlying mechanisms within a spatiotemporal context. Although cellular processes are dynamic in nature, most studies in molecular cell biology are based on fixed specimens, for example, using immunocytochemistry or fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). However, breakthroughs in fluorescence microscopy imaging techniques, in particular, the discovery of green fluorescent protein (GFP) and its spectral variants, have facilitated the study of a wide range of dynamic processes by allowing nondestructive labeling of target structures in living cells. In addition, the tremendous improvements in spatial and temporal resolution of light microscopes now allow cellular processes to be analyzed in unprecedented detail. These state-of-the-art imaging technologies, however, provide a huge amount of digital image data. To cope with the enormous amount of image data and to extract reproducible as well as quantitative information, computer-based image analysis is required. In this article, we describe methods for computer-based analysis of multidimensional live cell microscopy images and their application to study the dynamics of cells and particles. First, we sketch a general workflow for quantitative analysis of live cell images. Then, we detail computational methods for automatic image analysis comprising image preprocessing, segmentation, registration, tracking, and classification. We conclude with a discussion of quantitative analysis and systems biology.