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A Quantitative Method for 3D Morphology Analysis of Cancer Cells

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Y Feng

J Feng1 , Y Feng2*, (1) WavMed, Tianjin, (2) East Carolina Univ


SU-E-QI-2 Sunday 3:00PM - 6:00PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: Morphological identification is a widespread procedure for assessment of cells by visual inspection of the morphological characteristics or the fluorescence images. It is lengthy and can only provide quantitative results. A quick and qualitative method is highly desired. In this abstract, a stereology based quick method for morphology measurement is reported.

Methods: The 3D images of 110 breast cancer cells(MCF7) and 96 melanoma cells(B16) acquired with fixed z-step size of 0.5μm using a confocal-laser-scanning-microscope(CLSM)(Zeiss-LSM510) were used. The stereological measurement method includes three steps: 1. randomly select a starting slice from the 3D image stack of a cell and go through the whole image stack with a uniform sampling step-size, 2. an in-house software generated square-grid containing the array of test points with known separation is superimposed on a picked slice, and points located at edge of the nucleus/cell membrane are counted in x and y directions respectively, 3. calculate cell morphology parameters based on the known slice spacing, test point separation and measured numbers of points. The step-size used in the experiments was determined by keeping the coefficient-of-error(CE) less than 5%. The circumference, areas and volumes of the cells and nuclei were measured. The averaged volume of nuclei(Vn), volume density of nuclei(Vvn), surface area density of nuclei(Svn), ratio of surface area and volume of nuclei(Rsvn), and ratio of nuclei and plasma(Rnp) were calculated. The maximum, minimum and median diameters of the cells were calculated from the binarized image of the cells. To validate the new method, the data were compared with the data reported in literatures.

Results: The morphology parameters measured with the new method are consistent and repeatable (maximum standard deviation SD<2.3μm,p<0.03), and close to the values reported in literatures(p>0.1).

Conclusion: The stereological method is a quick and easy-to-use tool for quantitative analysis of cancer cell morphology.

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