CellProfiler Pipeline


This workflow processes a group of images containing cells with discernible nuclei and segments the nuclei and outputs a binary mask that show where nuclei were detected. It was developed as a test workflow for Neubias BIAFLOWS Benchmarking tool.

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This one example workflow from the Cell Profiler(CP)  Examples . CP is commonly used to count cells or other objects as well as percent-positives, by measuring the per-cell staining intensity. This pipeline shows how to do both of these tasks, and demonstrates how various modules may be used to accomplish the same result. 

In a few words, it used the IdentifyPrimaryObject module of CellProfiler to detect nuclei from a channel (e.g DAPI), then again the same module on another channel to detect another probe (e.g some particular histone)  .

Then objects (nuclei) are related to the second object (Histone), to create a parent child-relation ship: where nuclei can have histone has child. Nuclei are then filtered according to the property of having histone (positive) or not having histone (negtiveobject) related to them.  If needed, nuclei can be expanded in order to include touching object rather than object inside only.

The percentage of positive nuclei vs total number of nuclei can then be computed using the CalculateMath Module.


This is a Jupyter notebook demonstrating the run of a code from IDR data sets by loading a CellProfiler Pipeline 

The example here is applied on real data set, but does not correspond to a biological question. It aims to demonstrate how to create a jupyter notebook to process online plates hosted in the IDR.

It reads the plate images from the IDR.

It loads the CellProfiler Pipeline and replace the reading modules used to read local files from this defaults pipeline by module allowing to read data remotely accessible.

It creates a CSV file and displays it in the notebook.

It makes some plot with Matplotlib.



CellProfiler is free, open-source software for quantitative analysis of biological images.

CellProfiler is designed to enable biologists without training in computer vision or programming to quantitatively measure cell or whole-organism phenotypes from thousands of images automatically. The researcher creates an analysis pipeline from modules that find cells and cell compartments, measure features of those cells to form a rich, quantitative dataset that characterizes the imaged site in all of its heterogeneity. CellProfiler is structured so that the most general and successful methods and strategies are the ones that are automatically suggested, but the user can override these defaults and pull from many of the basic algorithms and techniques of image analysis to solve harder problems. CellProfiler is extensible through plugins written in Python or for ImageJ. Strengths: Cells, Neurons, C. Elegans, 2D Fluorescent images, high-throughput screening, phenotype classification, multiple stains/site, interoperability, extensibility, machine learning, segmentation Limitations: largely limited to 2D, not well suited to manually-guided analysis or content review, image size limitations


The workflow computes cell-based colocalisation of two stainings in 2-D images. Both pixel- and object-based readouts are provided and some pros and cons are discussed. Please read here for more information:



Input data type: 


Output data type: 

processed images, numbers, text file, csv files