Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing

, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 325–337 | Cite as

Automatic directional analysis of cell fluorescence images and morphological modeling of microfilaments

  • Yue Zhou
  • Huiqi LiEmail author
  • Wanjun Zhang
  • Jiayi Xu
  • Xiaojun Li
  • Baohua Ji
Original Article


Cytoskeleton and nucleus are two important anatomic components in eukaryotic cells. Cell fluorescence images are employed to study their realignment and deformation during cell extrusion. Quantitative analysis and modeling of cell orientation are investigated in this paper. For orientation measurement, alignment orientation of microfilaments is calculated using structure tensor method. Nuclei is segmented and fitted to ellipses in nuclei images. Based on the fitted ellipse, orientation and aspect ratio of each nucleus are computed. A morphological model is proposed to describe the movement of microfilaments quantitatively. The parameters of the model are determined by in-plane stresses obtained by numerical simulation. The proposed automatic orientation measurement algorithms can help to analyze the relationship between cell orientation and stress qualitatively. The proposed morphological model is the first model to quantitatively describe the relationship of microfilament movement with stress. Experimental results show that cell and nucleus tend to align along in-plane maximum shear stress and the proposed morphological model is a reasonable model for cell movement. The modeling of cell behavior under different stress can facilitate biomedical research such as tissue engineering and cancer analysis.

Graphical abstract


Microfilaments Nuclei Automatic analysis Morphological modeling 


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Copyright information

© International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Information and ElectronicsBeijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Aerospace EngineeringBeijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of Engineering MechanicsZhejiang UniversityZhejiangChina

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