Quantifying subcellular dynamics in apoptotic cells with two-dimensional Gabor filters

Robert M. Pasternack, Bryan Rabin, Jing Yi Zheng, Nada N. Boustany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We demonstrate an optical Fourier filtering method which can be used to characterize subcellular morphology during dynamic cellular function. In this paper, our Fourier filters were based on two-dimensional Gabor elementary functions, which can be tuned to sense directly object size and orientation. We utilize this method to quantify changes in mitochondrial and nuclear structure during the first three hours of apoptosis. We find that the technique is sensitive to a decrease in particle orientation consistent with apoptosis-induced mitochondrial fragmentation. The scattering signal changes were less pronounced in the nucleus and the remainder of the cytoplasm. Particles in these regions were less oriented than mitochondria and did not change orientation significantly.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)720-728
Number of pages9
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

Cite this