Image analysis tools to quantify cell shape and protein dynamics near the leading edge

Cell Struct Funct. 2013;38(1):1-7. doi: 10.1247/csf.12020. Epub 2012 Nov 17.


We present a set of flexible image analysis tools to analyze dynamics of cell shape and protein concentrations near the leading edge of cells adhered to glass coverslips. Plugins for ImageJ streamline common analyses of microscopic images of cells, including the calculation of leading edge speeds, total and average intensities of fluorescent markers, and retrograde flow rate measurements of fluorescent single-molecule speckles. We also provide automated calculations of auto- and cross-correlation functions between velocity and intensity measurements. The application of the methods is illustrated on images of XTC cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Cell Shape*
  • Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Pseudopodia / ultrastructure


  • Proteins