In order to study genes associated with muscular disorders, we characterize the phenotypic changes in Drosophila muscle cells during metamorphosis caused by genetic perturbations. We collect in vivo images of muscle fibers during remodeling of larval to adult muscles. In this paper, we focus on the new image processing pipeline designed to quantify the changes in shape and size of muscles. We propose a new two-step approach to muscle segmentation in time series images. First, we implement a watershed algorithm to divide the image into edge-preserving regions, and then, we classify these regions into muscle and non-muscle classes on the basis of shape and intensity. The advantage of our method is two-fold: First, better results are obtained because classification of regions is constrained by the shape of muscle cell from previous time point; and secondly, minimal user intervention results in faster processing time. The segmentation results are used to compare the changes in cell size between controls and reduction of the autophagy related gene Atg 9 during Drosophila metamorphosis.
Proceedings : 37th Annual International Conference of the IEEE, Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC) 25-29 Aug 2015, doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2015.7319044