Cell migration is crucial in many processes of development and maintenance of multicellular organisms and it can also be related to disease, e.g., Cancer metastasis, when cells migrate to organs different to where they originate. A precise analysis of the cell shapes in biological studies could lead to insights about migration. However, in some cases, the interaction and overlap of cells can complicate the detection and interpretation of their shapes. This paper describes an algorithm to segment and analyse the shape of macrophages in fluorescent microscopy image sequences, and compares the segmentation of overlapping cells through different algorithms. A novel 2D matrix with multiscale angle variation, called the anglegram
, based on the angles between points of the boundary of an object, is used for this purpose. The anglegram
is used to find junctions of cells and applied in two different applications: (i) segmentation of overlapping cells and for non-overlapping cells; (ii) detection of the “corners” or pointy edges in the shapes. The functionalities of the anglegram
were tested and validated with synthetic data and on fluorescently labelled macrophages observed on embryos of Drosophila melanogaster
. The information that can be extracted from the anglegram
shows a good promise for shape determination and analysis, whether this involves overlapping or non-overlapping objects.
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