Automatic Quantification of In Vitro Endothelial Cell Networks using Mathematical Morphology

J. Angulo (France) and S. Matou (UK)


biomedical image processing, endothelial cell angiogene sis, mathematical morphology, granulometry, tophat trans formation, watershed, morphological wavefront


Experiments of in vitro angiogenesis are important tools for studying both the mechanisms of formation of new blood vessels and the potential development of therapeutic strategies to modulate neovascularisation (screening of new pharmacological molecules). One of the most frequently used angiogenesis assays is the culture of endothelial cells on a reconstituted basement membrane named Matrigel, since the cells constitute a capillary-like network which can be quanti´Čüed by image analysis. In this paper, a global, ro bust and fully automated methodology is proposed to seg ment and quantify in vitro endothelial cell networks from greyscale images using operators from mathematical mor phology. Experimental results allow us to draw a discus sion of the pertinence of the alternative morphological pa rameters to evaluate the characteristics of the cell culture.

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