Automatic quantitative analysis of morphology of apoptotic HL-60 cells
Keywords:cell morphology, quantitative analysis, apoptosis
Morphological identification is a widespread procedure to assess the presence of apoptosis by visual inspection of the morphological characteristics or the fluorescence images. The procedure is lengthy and results are observer dependent. A quantitative automatic analysis is objective and would greatly help the routine work. We developed an image processing and segmentation method which combined the Otsu thresholding and morphological operators for apoptosis study. An automatic determination method of apoptotic stages of HL-60 cells with fluorescence images was developed. Comparison was made between normal cells, early apoptotic cells and late apoptotic cells about their geometric parameters which were defined to describe the features of cell morphology. The results demonstrated that the parameters we chose are very representative of the morphological characteristics of apoptotic cells. Significant differences exist between the cells in different stages, and automatic quantification of the differences can be achieved.
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