Methods for 2D and 3D Quantitative Microscopy of Biological Samples
Sammanfattning: New microscopy techniques are continuously developed, resulting in more rapid acquisition of large amounts of data. Manual analysis of such data is extremely time-consuming and many features are difficult to quantify without the aid of a computer. But with automated image analysis biologists can extract quantitative measurements and increases throughput significantly, which becomes particularly important in high-throughput screening (HTS). This thesis addresses automation of traditional analysis of cell data as well as automation of both image capture and analysis in zebrafish high-throughput screening. It is common in microscopy images to stain the nuclei in the cells, and to label the DNA and proteins in different ways. Padlock-probing and proximity ligation are highly specific detection methods that produce point-like signals within the cells. Accurate signal detection and segmentation is often a key step in analysis of these types of images. Cells in a sample will always show some degree of variation in DNA and protein expression and to quantify these variations each cell has to be analyzed individually. This thesis presents development and evaluation of single cell analysis on a range of different types of image data. In addition, we present a novel method for signal detection in three dimensions. HTS systems often use a combination of microscopy and image analysis to analyze cell-based samples. However, many diseases and biological pathways can be better studied in whole animals, particularly those that involve organ systems and multi-cellular interactions. The zebrafish is a widely-used vertebrate model of human organ function and development. Our collaborators have developed a high-throughput platform for cellular-resolution in vivo chemical and genetic screens on zebrafish larvae. This thesis presents improvements to the system, including accurate positioning of the fish which incorporates methods for detecting regions of interest, making the system fully automatic. Furthermore, the thesis describes a novel high-throughput tomography system for screening live zebrafish in both fluorescence and bright field microscopy. This 3D imaging approach combined with automatic quantification of morphological changes enables previously intractable high-throughput screening of vertebrate model organisms.
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