Standard techniques for culture evaluation are subjective, destructive, or time consuming. The process of morphological inspection of cells has been a robust method to assess culture health, but it suffers from inter-observer variation and does not easily translate to three-dimensional culture.
Funded by Texas A&M President’s Excellence Fund X-Grant in collaboration with Dr. Carl Gregory and Dr. Maryellen Giger, we are developing volumetric optical microscopy and machine intelligence to address current limitations in stem cell expansion strategies. The research goal is to facilitate in-process visualization of stem cells and to quantify cell number, density, and distribution through morphological assessment. We have developed an algorithm based on conventional image processing, feature extraction, and machine learning classification method for evaluating cells cultured in monolayer conditions and imaged with phase contrast microscopy.