MICROSCOPY/MACHINE LEARNING: Open-source software automates complex microscopy tasks

A novel computer program can quickly learn what a scientist is looking for and then automatically perform complex microscopy experiments when it detects corresponding cell features.

Called Micropilot, the open-source software analyzes low-resolution images taken by a microscope and, once it has identified a cell or structure of interest, automatically instructs the microscope to start an experiment—which can be as simple as recording high-resolution time-lapse videos, or as complex as using lasers to probe fluorescently tagged proteins and record the results.

Click to Enlarge
Micropilot analyzes low-res images, identifies cells or structures of interest, and then automatically instructs the microscope to start an experiment.

Jan Ellenberg and Rainer Pepperkok, whose teams at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL; Heidelberg, Germany) designed Micropilot, have used the software to deploy several different experiments investigating aspects of cell division. They determined the formation of structures known as endoplasmic reticulum exit sites, and uncovered the roles of two proteins, CBX1 and CENP-E, in condensing genetic material into tightly wound chromosomes and in forming the spindle that helps align those chromosomes. And, in four nights of unattended microscope operation, Micropilot detected 232 cells in two particular stages of cell division and performed a complex imaging experiment on them; an experienced microscopist would have to work full-time for at least a month just to find those cells among the many thousands in the sample.

The software and experiments are detailed in Nature Methods (2011), doi:10.1038/nmeth.1558.

More BioOptics World Current Issue Articles
More BioOptics World Archives Issue Articles

Get All the BioOptics World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to BioOptics World Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now
Related Articles

SalutarisMD to introduce minimally invasive ophthalmic device for wet AMD therapy

SalutarisMD has developed an investigational ophthalmic treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Wearable light therapy device for hair loss receives regulatory approval in Brazil

The iGrow hair growth system, a wearable low-level light therapy device for treating hair loss, is cleared for use in Brazil.

FDA authorizes emergency use of Zika virus molecular detection assay

The xMAP MultiFLEX Zika RNA assay combines optofluidics and digital signal processing to detect Zika virus in vitro.

Merz acquires laser tattoo removal device maker ON Light Sciences

Merz North America has acquired ON Light Sciences, which develops technologies to enhance laser-based dermatology procedures.


Neuro15 exhibitors meet exacting demands: Part 2

Increasingly, neuroscientists are working with researchers in disciplines such as chemistry and p...

Why be free?

A successful career contributed to keeping OpticalRayTracer—an optical design software program—fr...

LASER Munich 2015 is bio-bent

LASER World of Photonics 2015 included the European Conferences on Biomedical Optics among its si...

White Papers

Understanding Optical Filters

Optical filters can be used to attenuate or enhance an image, transmit or reflect specific wavele...

How can I find the right digital camera for my microscopy application?

Nowadays, image processing is found in a wide range of optical microscopy applications. Examples ...



Twitter- BioOptics World

Copyright © 2007-2016. PennWell Corporation, Tulsa, OK. All Rights Reserved.PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS AND CONDITIONS