Automated mitosis detection of stem cell populations in phase-contrast microscopy images

Seungil Huh, Dai Fei Elmer Ker, Ryoma Bise, Mei Chen, Takeo Kanade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Citations (Scopus)


Due to the enormous potential and impact that stem cells may have on regenerative medicine, there has been a rapidly growing interest for tools to analyze and characterize the behaviors of these cells in vitro in an automated and high throughput fashion. Among these behaviors, mitosis, or cell division, is important since stem cells proliferate and renew themselves through mitosis. However, current automated systems for measuring cell proliferation often require destructive or sacrificial methods of cell manipulation such as cell lysis or in vitro staining. In this paper, we propose an effective approach for automated mitosis detection using phase-contrast time-lapse microscopy, which is a nondestructive imaging modality, thereby allowing continuous monitoring of cells in culture. In our approach, we present a probabilistic model for event detection, which can simultaneously 1) identify spatio-temporal patch sequences that contain a mitotic event and 2) localize a birth event, defined as the time and location at which cell division is completed and two daughter cells are born. Our approach significantly outperforms previous approaches in terms of both detection accuracy and computational efficiency, when applied to multipotent C3H10T1/2 mesenchymal and C2C12 myoblastic stem cell populations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5606202
Pages (from-to)586-596
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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