Active mesh and neural network pipeline for cell aggregate segmentation.

  • publication
  • 02-04-2023

Smith MB, Sparks H, Almagro J, Chaigne A, Behrens A, Dunsby C, Salbreux G. Biophys J 2023 Mar;():. 10.1016/j.bpj.2023.03.038. S0006-3495(23)00211-4.

Segmenting cells within cellular aggregates in 3D is a growing challenge in cell biology, due to improvements in capacity and accuracy of microscopy techniques. Here we describe a pipeline to segment images of cell aggregates in 3D. The pipeline combines neural network segmentations with active meshes. We apply our segmentation method to cultured mouse mammary duct organoids imaged over 24 hours with oblique plane microscopy, a high-throughput light-sheet fluorescence microscopy technique. We show that our method can also be applied to images of mouse embryonic stem cells imaged with a spinning disc microscope. We segment individual cells based on nuclei and cell membrane fluorescent markers, and track cells over time. We describe metrics to quantify the quality of the automated segmentation. Our segmentation pipeline involves a Fiji plugin which implement active meshes deformation and allows a user to create training data, automatically obtain segmentation meshes from original image data or neural network prediction, and manually curate segmentation data to identify and correct mistakes. Our active meshes-based approach facilitates segmentation postprocessing, correction, and integration with neural network prediction.

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