Motility analysis with mean-square displacement


Tracking tools, such as TrackMate, produce tracks and their role stops there. However, tracks are just an intermediate data structure in the workflow. Their subsequent analysis produces the numbers upon which scientific conclusions are made. The track analysis is most often specific to the scientific question to be addressed, and therefore tracking tools remain generic and seldom include specialized analysis modules. Another toolset is required for track analysis; this workflow focuses on using MATLAB.

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The software FishInspector provides automatic feature detections in images of zebrafish embryos (body size, eye size, pigmentation). It is Matlab-based and provided as a Windows executable (no matlab installation needed).

The recent version requires images of a lateral position. It is important that the position is precise since deviation may confound with feature annotations. Images from any source can be used. However, depending on the image properties parameters may have to be adjusted. Furthermore, images obtained with normal microscope and not using an automated position system with embryos in glass capillaries require conversion using a KNIME workflow (the workflow is available as well). As a result of the analysis the software provides JSON files that contain the coordinates of the features. Coordinates are provided for eye, fish contour, notochord , otoliths, yolk sac, pericard and swimbladder. Furthermore, pigment cells in the notochord area are detected. Additional features can be manually annotated. It is the aim of the software to provide the coordinates, which may then be analysed subsequently to identify and quantify changes in the morphology of zebrafish embryos.

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SIMPLETRACKER a simple particle tracking algorithm that can deal with gaps.

Tracking , or particle linking, consist in re-building the trajectories of one or several particles as they move along time. Their position is reported at each frame, but their identity is yet unknown: we do not know what particle in one frame corresponding to a particle in the previous frame. Tracking algorithms aim at providing a solution for this problem. 

simpletracker.m is - as the name says - a simple implementation of a tracking algorithm, that can deal with gaps. A gap happens when one particle that was detected in one frame is not detected in the subsequent one. If not dealt with, this generates a track break, or a gap, in the frame where the particle disappear, and a false new track in the frame where it re-appear. 

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Mean square displacement (MSD) analysis is a technique commonly used in colloidal studies and biophysics to determine what is the mode of displacement of particles followed over time. In particular, it can help determine whether the particle is:

  • freely diffusing;
  • transported;
  • bound and limited in its movement.

On top of this, it can also derive an estimate of the parameters of the movement, such as the diffusion coefficient.

@msdanalyzer is a MATLAB per-value class that helps performing this kind of analysis. The user provides several trajectories he measured, and the class can derive meaningful quantities for the determination of the movement modality, assuming that all particles follow the same movement model and sample the same environment.

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Examples of tracks to perform MSD analysis.



A deep-learning solution for stain color normalization in digital histology images

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Classification of trajectoire: need tracking results as input and will then classify the trajectories as  brownian motion, confined brownian or directed.

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Adipocyte quantification MATLAB


Analysis of adipocyte number and size. The original code and example images supposed to be discovered at but currently the webpage is missing the code and sample images.

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Measures wound-healing assay videos, 

 For each video, the velocity and the order parameter are analyzed in time and space to extract quantitative parameters characterizing the cell motility phenotype. The different conditions (videos) can then be classified according to these parameters.


Neural Circuit Tracer


Neural Circuit Tracer (NCTracer) is open source software for automated and manual tracing of neurites from light microscopy stacks of images. NCTracer has more than one workflow available for neuron tracing. 

"The Neural Circuit Tracer is open source software built using Java (Sun Microsystems) and Matlab (MathWorks, Inc., Natick MA). It is based on the core of ImageJ ( and the graphic user interface has been developed by using Java Swings. The software combines anumber of functionalities of ImageJ with several newly developed functions for automated and manual tracing of neurites. The Neural Circuit Tracer is designed in a way
that will allow the users to add any plug-ins developed for ImageJ. More importantly, functions written in MatLab and converted into Java with Matlab JA toolbox can also be added to the Neural Circuit Tracer." 

Example of output from Neural Circuit Tracer



"we propose a novel automatic 3D neuron reconstruction algorithm, named Rivulet, which is based on the multi-stencils fast-marching and iterative back-tracking. The proposed Rivulet algorithm is capable of tracing discontinuous areas without being interrupted by densely distributed noises." 

This plugin can be used with default parameters or with user-defined parameters.

Example image obtained from Rivulet Wiki website (