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J Vis Exp. 2014 Mar 19;(85). doi: 10.3791/51280.

Rapid analysis and exploration of fluorescence microscopy images.

Author information

1
Green Center for Systems Biology, UT Southwestern Medical Center.
2
Advanced Imaging Research Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center.
3
Green Center for Systems Biology, UT Southwestern Medical Center; Princeton University.
4
Green Center for Systems Biology, UT Southwestern Medical Center; Lani.Wu@utsouthwestern.edu.
5
Green Center for Systems Biology, UT Southwestern Medical Center; Steven.Altschuler@utsouthwestern.edu.

Abstract

Despite rapid advances in high-throughput microscopy, quantitative image-based assays still pose significant challenges. While a variety of specialized image analysis tools are available, most traditional image-analysis-based workflows have steep learning curves (for fine tuning of analysis parameters) and result in long turnaround times between imaging and analysis. In particular, cell segmentation, the process of identifying individual cells in an image, is a major bottleneck in this regard. Here we present an alternate, cell-segmentation-free workflow based on PhenoRipper, an open-source software platform designed for the rapid analysis and exploration of microscopy images. The pipeline presented here is optimized for immunofluorescence microscopy images of cell cultures and requires minimal user intervention. Within half an hour, PhenoRipper can analyze data from a typical 96-well experiment and generate image profiles. Users can then visually explore their data, perform quality control on their experiment, ensure response to perturbations and check reproducibility of replicates. This facilitates a rapid feedback cycle between analysis and experiment, which is crucial during assay optimization. This protocol is useful not just as a first pass analysis for quality control, but also may be used as an end-to-end solution, especially for screening. The workflow described here scales to large data sets such as those generated by high-throughput screens, and has been shown to group experimental conditions by phenotype accurately over a wide range of biological systems. The PhenoBrowser interface provides an intuitive framework to explore the phenotypic space and relate image properties to biological annotations. Taken together, the protocol described here will lower the barriers to adopting quantitative analysis of image based screens.

PMID:
24686220
PMCID:
PMC4390293
DOI:
10.3791/51280
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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