A method for quick, low-cost automated confluency measurements

Gil Topman, Orna Sharabani-Yosef, Amit Gefen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A culture's confluency is a fundamental measure in the field of biology, and routine quantification of confluence in cell culture protocols, biological assays and tissue engineering work is important. However, current techniques for obtaining confluency are either subjective, destructive, not simple enough, or time-consuming. We developed an image processing method for automated confluency measurement from a single microscope image without any chemical staining. To demonstrate utility we monitored the confluency of three cell types: NIH3T3 fibroblasts, C2C12 myoblasts, and 3T3L1 pre-adipocytes for 5 days, twice a day. The captured micrographs had different and uneven illumination, the cell types varied in cell-to-background contrast, and the confluency ranged between 10% and 100%. Despite these variable conditions, our method was shown to be practical, economic, and easy to implement, providing quantitative confluency measurements over time in each culture case. The method is hence suitable for routine automatic determination of confluency to standardize handling of cells, achieve reproducibility across trials, and improve accuracy in experimental outcome measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-922
Number of pages8
JournalMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2011

Keywords

  • cell culture
  • image analysis
  • microscopy
  • segmentation
  • texture
  • tissue engineering

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