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Microtubules are structures within the cellthat form a transportation network along which motor proteins tow cargo todestinations. To establish and maintain a structure capable of serving thecell’s tasks, microtubules undergo deconstruction and reconstruction regularly.This change in structure is critical to tasks like wound repair and cellmotility. Images of fluorescing microtubule networks are captured in grayscaleat different wavelengths, displaying different tagged proteins. The analysis ofthese polymeric structures involves identifying the presence of the protein andthe direction of the structure in which it resides. This study considers theproblem of finding statistical properties of sections of microtubules. Weconsider the research done on directional filters and utilize a basic solutionto find the center of a ridge. The method processes the captured image bycentering a circle around pre-determined pixel locations so that the highestpossible average pixel intensity is found within the circle, thus marking thecenter of the microtubule. The location of these centers allows us to estimateangular direction and curvature of the microtubules, statistically estimate thedirection of microtubules in a region of the cell, and compare properties ofdifferent types of microtubule networks in the same region. To verify accuracy,we study the results of the method on a test image.


Microtubule, Image Analysis, Curvature

Cite this paper

DiLorenzo, T. , Ligon, L. and Drew, D. 2016 Determination of Statistical Properties of Microtubule Populations. Applied Mathematics, 7, 1456-1475. doi: 10.4236-am.2016.713125.

Autor: Tyson DiLorenzo1, Lee Ligon2, Donald Drew1



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