Studies of how individual semi-flexible biopolymers and their network assemblies change over time reveal dynamical and mechanical properties important to the understanding of their function in tissues and living cells. Automatic tracking of biopolymer networks from fluorescence microscopy time-lapse sequences facilitates such quantitative studies. We present an open source software tool that combines a global and local correspondence algorithm to track biopolymer networks in 2D and 3D, using stretching open active contours. We demonstrate its application in fully automated tracking of elongating and intersecting actin filaments, detection of loop formation and constriction of tilted contractile rings in live cells, and tracking of network deformation under shear deformation.

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
NPG , Springer Nature
Sci. Rep.
Biological Soft Matter-Former Group

Xu, T., Langouras, C., Koudehi, M., Vos, B., Wang, N., Koenderink, G., … Vavylonis, D. (2019). Automated Tracking of Biopolymer Growth and Network Deformation with TSOAX. Sci. Rep., 9, 1717: 1–13. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-37182-6