Identifying nuclei is often a critical first step in analyzing microscopy images of cells and classical image processing algorithms are most commonly used for this task. Recent developments in deep learning can yield superior accuracy, but typical evaluation metrics for nucleus segmentation do not satisfactorily capture error modes that are relevant in cellular images. We present an evaluation framework to measure accuracy, types of errors, and computational efficiency; and use it to compare deep learning strategies and classical approaches. We publicly release a set of 23,165 manually annotated nuclei and source code to reproduce experiments and run the proposed evaluation methodology. Our evaluation framework shows that deep learning improves accuracy and can reduce the number of biologically relevant errors by half. © 2019 The Authors. Cytometry Part A published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.
Publications by Year: 2019
Segmenting the nuclei of cells in microscopy images is often the first step in the quantitative analysis of imaging data for biological and biomedical applications. Many bioimage analysis tools can segment nuclei in images but need to be selected and configured for every experiment. The 2018 Data Science Bowl attracted 3,891 teams worldwide to make the first attempt to build a segmentation method that could be applied to any two-dimensional light microscopy image of stained nuclei across experiments, with no human interaction. Top participants in the challenge succeeded in this task, developing deep-learning-based models that identified cell nuclei across many image types and experimental conditions without the need to manually adjust segmentation parameters. This represents an important step toward configuration-free bioimage analysis software tools.