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BMC Bioinformatics DOI:10.1186/s12859-015-0759-x

CellProfiler Tracer: exploring and validating high-throughput, time-lapse microscopy image data.

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBray, M-A, Carpenter, AE
JournalBMC Bioinformatics
Date Published2015 Nov 04
KeywordsCell Tracking, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, MCF-7 Cells, Microscopy, Reproducibility of Results, Software, Time-Lapse Imaging, User-Computer Interface

BACKGROUND: Time-lapse analysis of cellular images is an important and growing need in biology. Algorithms for cell tracking are widely available; what researchers have been missing is a single open-source software package to visualize standard tracking output (from software like CellProfiler) in a way that allows convenient assessment of track quality, especially for researchers tuning tracking parameters for high-content time-lapse experiments. This makes quality assessment and algorithm adjustment a substantial challenge, particularly when dealing with hundreds of time-lapse movies collected in a high-throughput manner.

RESULTS: We present CellProfiler Tracer, a free and open-source tool that complements the object tracking functionality of the CellProfiler biological image analysis package. Tracer allows multi-parametric morphological data to be visualized on object tracks, providing visualizations that have already been validated within the scientific community for time-lapse experiments, and combining them with simple graph-based measures for highlighting possible tracking artifacts.

CONCLUSIONS: CellProfiler Tracer is a useful, free tool for inspection and quality control of object tracking data, available from


Alternate JournalBMC Bioinformatics
PubMed ID26537300
PubMed Central IDPMC4634901
Grant ListR01 GM089652 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
NIH R01 GM089652 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States