Motion Analysis Corporation

CellTrak: Morphology and Motility Assessment Software

CellTrak provides rapid and quantitative tracking of the motion of single cells captured using standard microscopy imaging modes.

CellTrak processes movie files of single to hundreds of moving cells and extracts measurements of their movements:

  • Cell centroid movement (X,Y) vs. time
  • Cell orientations vs. time
  • Cell greyscale information vs. time

    Cells are typically recorded from a video adaptor on a microscope. Tools are provided for using different greyscale processing and edge detection methods as well as tools for editing the processed edge, centroid and path data.

    CellTrak reads the AVI file and does the tracking, editing of the paths with a math back-end. You can export the resulting ASCII files into Excel or other software.

    Time series calculations can be performed on the path data. There are mathematical functions and a scripting capability which can be used to manipulate the time series data.


    Basic and Trigonometric Math Functions: The ability to mathematically manipulate time series data and store this data to a math time series file (.mts).

    Scripting Capabilities (User Programs): As the user uses the math functions to manipulate the time series data, each step is recorded in a scripting language and stored in a script window. These scripts can be saved to a file and reloaded.

    Orientation Calculations: The orientations are calculated using Principle Component Analysis, more specifically, the Direction of Least Variance.

    Load and Merge Path Files: Up to ten files to be loaded at once. Different camera resolutions can be merged.

    Methods of Edge Detection:

  • Binary Threshold - a greyscale threshold level determines an edge. This particular edge method requires dark objects on a light background. The other methods do not have this requirement.
  • Canny Edge Detector - a well documented method which results in a single pixel edge and is able to find edges of light objects as well as dark objects. The smoothing algorithm is not currently used in conjunction with this method.
  • Sobel Edge Detector - a template based edge detector which approximates the gradient of the pixel corresponding to the center of the template. Sobel uses two 3x3 matrices as a template.
  • Kirsch Edge Detector - a template based edge detector which approximates the gradient of the pixel corresponding to the center of the template. Kirsch uses six 3x3 matrices as a template.
  • Binary Threshold Smoothed Edges - The Binary Threshold images are smoothed automatically and then their edges are found. It provides the closest outlining of the greyscale dark on light images.

    Time Series Calculations: Movement Functions

  • Speed
  • Linear Acceleration
  • Net-to-Gross Displacement Ratio
  • Direction to Travel
  • Angular Velocity
  • Rate of Change Direction
  • Orientations
  • Rate of Change of Orientations
  • Average Greyscale Values
  • X Values
  • Y Values

    Calculating Metrics

  • Segmenting edges into separated objects
  • Find the centroid of the objects
  • Find the path of an object through time
  • Find the long axis of the object and assign a head and tail to the axis

    CellTrak Requires:

  • Windows XP or 2000 PC with at least 1GB of RAM
  • Minimum 500 MZ processor
  • Camera, microscope and frame grabber not included

    CellTrak Tryout

    To receive a tryout version of CellTrak, please fill out the following form.
    REQUIREMENT: Email address must reflect your affiliation with University, Research Facility or Business involved with cell biology. E-mail addresses from mail services such as hotmail, gmail, etc. will not be granted the download information.

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