This paper presents a novel software framework, called macrosight, which incorporates routines to detect, track, and analyze the shape and movement of objects, with special emphasis on macrophages. The key feature presented in macrosight consists of an algorithm to assess the changes of direction derived from cell–cell contact, where an interaction is assumed to occur. The main biological motivation is the determination of certain cell interactions influencing cell migration. Thus, the main objective of this work is to provide insights into the notion that interactions between cell structures cause a change in orientation. Macrosight analyzes the change of direction of cells before and after they come in contact with another cell. Interactions are determined when the cells overlap and form clumps
of two or more cells. The framework integrates a segmentation technique capable of detecting overlapping cells and a tracking framework into a tool for the analysis of the trajectories of cells before and after they overlap. Preliminary results show promise into the analysis and the hypothesis proposed, and lays the groundwork for further developments. The extensive experimentation and data analysis show, with statistical significance, that under certain conditions, the movement changes before and after an interaction are different from movement in controlled cases.
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