Combining QPI and Deep Learning to Improve Subcellular Imaging
April 09, 2021
Researchers from the University of Idaho and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are improving the ability to study the metabolism and dynamics of living cells. In a new paper published in PLOS One, Northwest Knowledge Network Director Luke Sheneman, Associate Professor of Physics Andreas Vasdekis and MIT Chemical Engineering Professor Gregory Stephanopoulos develop a unique framework for performing accurate, high-throughput and non-invasive subcellular imaging and classification.
Traditional microscopy regularly relies on fluorescent staining to highlight and distinguish between subcellular components and organelles, which is invasive and often results in cell death. This limits scientists’ ability to image living cells over long periods of time to study cell physiology and metabolism.
Quantitative phase imaging (QPI) is a newer imaging approach that does not require staining and has low photo-toxicity. In their paper, the researchers use QPI to image Yarrowia lipolytica, a yeast with high lipid content that has notable biofuel applications.
Using computing resources from the Institute of Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies, they trained Machine Learning models to identify and classify subcellular lipid droplets. After comparing the models, they found that Deep Learning using Convolutional Neural Networks produced lipid classifications that were not only most accurate, but also most biologically realistic and interpretable. This specific combination of QPI and Deep Learning provides an alternative to traditional methods of subcellular imaging.
About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at uidaho.edu