Multiscale iterative voting for differential analysis of stress response for 2D and 3D cell culture models

Ju Han, Hang Chang, Q. Yang, Gerald V. Fontenay, Torsten Groesser, Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff, Bahram Parvin

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Three-dimensional (2D) cell culture models have emerged as the basis for improved cell systems biology. However, there is a gap in robust computational techniques for segmentation of these model systems that are imaged through confocal or deconvolution microscopy. The main issues are the volume of data, overlapping subcellular compartments and variation in scale or size of subcompartments of interest, which lead to ambiguities for quantitative analysis on a cell-by-cell basis. We address these ambiguities through a series of geometric operations that constrain theproblem through iterative voting and decomposition strategies. The main contributions of this paper are to (i) extend the previously developed 2D radial voting to an efficient 3D implementation, (ii) demonstrate application of iterative radial voting at multiple subcellular and molecular scales, and (iii) investigate application of the proposed technology to two endpoints between 2D and 3D cell culture models. These endpoints correspond to kinetics ofDNA damage repair as measured by phosphorylation of γ H2AX, and the loss of the membrane-bound E-cadherin protein as a result of ionizing radiation. Preliminary results indicate little difference in the kinetics of the DNA damage protein between 2D and 3D cell culture models; however, differences between membrane-bound Ecadherin are more pronounced.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Microscopy
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)315–326
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • E-cadherin
  • Expectation maximization
  • Ionizing radiation
  • Iterative voting
  • Segmentation
  • γ H2AX
  • 3D cell culture models


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