Non-invasive quality evaluation of confluent cells by image-based orientation heterogeneity analysis
In recent years, cell and tissue therapy in regenerative medicine have advanced rapidly towards commercialization. However, conventional invasive cell quality assessment is incompatible with direct evaluation of the cells produced for such therapies, especially in the case of regenerative medicine products. Our group has demonstrated the potential of quantitative assessment of cell quality, using information obtained from cell images, for non-invasive real-time evaluation of regenerative medicine products. However, image of cells in the confluent state are often difficult to evaluate, because accurate recognition of cells is technically difficult and the morphological features of confluent cells are non-characteristic. To overcome these challenges, we developed a new image-processing algorithm, heterogeneity of orientation (H-Orient) processing, to describe the heterogeneous density of cells in the confluent state. In this algorithm, we introduced a Hessian calculation that converts pixel intensity data to orientation data and a statistical profiling calculation that evaluates the heterogeneity of orientations within an image, generating novel parameters that yield a quantitative profile of an image. Using such parameters, we tested the algorithm's performance in discriminating different qualities of cellular images with three types of clinically important cell quality check (QC) models: remaining lifespan check (QC1), manipulation error check (QC2), and differentiation potential check (QC3). Our results show that our orientation analysis algorithm could predict with high accuracy the outcomes of all types of cellular quality checks (>84% average accuracy with cross-validation).
Journal: Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering - Volume 121, Issue 2, February 2016, Pages 227–234