Tracking of focal adhesions includes a number of challenges:
- Detection of focal adhesion regions in areas of highly variable background
- Separation of "clumped" adhesions in different objects.
- Dynamics: Focal adhesions dynamically, grow, shrink, change their shape, they can fuse with neighboring adhesions or one adhesion can be split into multiple children.
The Würflinger et al (2011) describe how to detect focal adhesion objects and how to track them over time. Interestingly, tracking results are fed back to segmentation to improve separation of clumped adhesions.
The authors implemented the workflow in Matlab, but do not provide a ready-to-use script.