Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

BioMed Central Cell Biology


Thayer School of Engineering

Additional Department

Geisel School of Medicine


Background: In this paper, we present and validate a way to measure automatically the extent of cell migration based on automated examination of a series of digital photographs. It was designed specifically to identify the impact of Second Hand Smoke (SHS) on endothelial cell migration but has broader applications. The analysis has two stages: (1) preprocessing of image texture, and (2) migration analysis.

Results: The output is a graphic overlay that indicates the front lines of cell migration superimposed on each original image, with automated reporting of the distance traversed vs. time. Expert preference compares to manual placement of leading edge shows complete equivalence of automated vs. manual leading edge definition for cell migration measurement.

Conclusion: Our method is indistinguishable from careful manual determinations of cell front lines, with the advantages of full automation, objectivity, and speed.



Original Citation

Qin, J., Chittenden, T.W., Gao, L. et al. Automated migration analysis based on cell texture: method & reliability. BMC Cell Biol 6, 9 (2005).