Particle Filtering for Multiple Object Tracking in Dynamic Fluorescence Microscopy Images: Application to Microtubule Growth Analysis

Dept. of Med. Inf., Erasmus MC-Univ. Med. Center, Rotterdam
IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging (Impact Factor: 3.39). 07/2008; 27(6):789 - 804. DOI: 10.1109/TMI.2008.916964
Source: IEEE Xplore


Quantitative analysis of dynamic processes in living cells by means of fluorescence microscopy imaging requires tracking of hundreds of bright spots in noisy image sequences. Deterministic approaches, which use object detection prior to tracking, perform poorly in the case of noisy image data. We propose an improved, completely automatic tracker, built within a Bayesian probabilistic framework. It better exploits spatiotemporal information and prior knowledge than common approaches, yielding more robust tracking also in cases of photobleaching and object interaction. The tracking method was evaluated using simulated but realistic image sequences, for which ground truth was available. The results of these experiments show that the method is more accurate and robust than popular tracking methods. In addition, validation experiments were conducted with real fluorescence microscopy image data acquired for microtubule growth analysis. These demonstrate that the method yields results that are in good agreement with manual tracking performed by expert cell biologists. Our findings suggest that the method may replace laborious manual procedures.

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Available from: W.J. Niessen, Aug 18, 2013
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    • "These algorithms concentrate on a variety of cell types and are based on different tracking methods. These cell tracking approaches in the literature can be broadly classified into three categories, namely, tracking based on detection and segmentation [4] [5] [6], tracking based on evolving model [7] [8] [9], and tracking based on probabilistic approach [10] [11] [12] [13]. "
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    • "where each element of b takes the value of the background intensity I b . Note that a similar image likelihood is also used to compute the weights of samples in tracking approaches based on particle filters (e.g., [19], [21]). Once all weights have been evaluated with the image likelihood p(z|x), the weights β i , i = 1, . . . "
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    ABSTRACT: Tracking subcellular structures as well as viral structures displayed as 'particles' in fluorescence microscopy images yields quantitative information on the underlying dynamical processes. We have developed an approach for tracking multiple fluorescent particles based on probabilistic data association. The approach combines a localization scheme that uses a bottom-up strategy based on the spot-enhancing filter as well as a top-down strategy based on an ellipsoidal sampling scheme that uses the Gaussian probability distributions computed by a Kalman filter. The localization scheme yields multiple measurements that are incorporated into the Kalman filter via a combined innovation, where the association probabilities are interpreted as weights calculated using an image likelihood. To track objects in close proximity, we compute the support of each image position relative to the neighboring objects of a tracked object and use this support to re-calculate the weights. To cope with multiple motion models, we integrated the interacting multiple model algorithm. The approach has been successfully applied to synthetic 2D and 3D images as well as to real 2D and 3D microscopy images, and the performance has been quantified. In addition, the approach was successfully applied to the 2D and 3D image data of the recent Particle Tracking Challenge at the IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI) 2012.
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    • "However, these approaches demonstrate unsatisfactory performance with images of low SNR [11] [12] [13]. For object tracking in noisy image sequences, Smal et al. [13] presented a particle filtering based approach. They devised a point-spread function (PSF) to account for the imaging blur due to the diffraction-limit, which is used to calculate a more sensible likelihood value in the observation model. "
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