Summer Intern Project 2009 - Raunaq Malhotra, Guldana Nurakayeva and Adil Berikuly

Project: Analysis of images of the developing Drosophila eye

Movies of the developing eye of drosphila have been captured by the Research Group of Franck Pichaud in the Cell Biology Centre and UCL. These images show how a sheet of cells, that will eventually become a fly eye, is transformed from a disorderly arrangement to the precise geometric arrangement of hexagonal facets. The movies show a wave of reorganizing activity (the bottom-left to top-right diagonal below) moving across the sheet from right to left.

Image 1

To facilitate analysis of the large amount of data in these movies, in this summer project the students prototyped algorithms for automatic analysis of these images. An algorithm for automatic extraction of cell boundaries was developed, based on learning the image appearance of boundaries from manually labeled data. Results are shown in figure 1. A second algorithm was developed to analyze the network of boundaries into a graph-like structure of cells, walls and boundaries.

Image 2

Using these algorithms it will be possible to quantitatively analyze movie data and so objectively to evaluate model simulations of eye development. 

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