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LIM Tracker: a software package for cell tracking and analysis with advanced interactivity

Aragaki, H;Ogoh, K;Kondo, Y;Aoki, K;

Cell tracking is one of the most critical tools for time-lapse image analysis to observe cell behavior and cell lineages over a long period of time. However, the accompanying graphical user interfaces are often difficult to use and do not incorporate seamless manual correction, data analysis tools, or simple training set design tools if it is machine learning based. In this paper, we introduce our cell tracking software “LIM Tracker”. This software has a conventional tracking function consisting of recognition processing and link processing, a sequential search-type tracking function based on pattern matching, and a manual tracking function. LIM Tracker enables the seamless use of these functions. In addition, the system incorporates a highly interactive and interlocking data visualization method, which displays analysis result in real time, making it possible to flexibly correct the data and reduce the burden of tracking work. Moreover, recognition functions with deep learning (DL) are also available, which can be used for a wide range of targets including stain-free images. LIM Tracker allows researchers to track living objects with good usability and high versatility for various targets. We present a tracking case study based on fluorescence microscopy images (NRK-52E/EKAREV-NLS cells or MCF-10A/H2B-iRFP-P2A-mScarlet-I-hGem-P2A-PIP-NLS-mNeonGreen cells) and phase contrast microscopy images (Glioblastoma-astrocytoma U373 cells). LIM Tracker is implemented as a plugin for ImageJ/Fiji. The software can be downloaded from https://github.com/LIMT34/LIM-Tracker .