Computer vision techniques (image processing) were proposed to automatically quantify the exact morphological parameters, i.e., the length and number of cells. We used Alloxazine the RTCA system to record the A549 cell index. Western blot was used to confirm the EMT. The RTCA system showed that different stimulators produce different cell index curves. The algorithm decided the lengths of the detected lines of cells, and the results were similar to the RTCA system in the TGF- group. The Western blot results show that TGF- changed the EMT markers, but the other stimulator remained unchanged. Optics-based computer vision techniques can supply the requisite information for the RTCA system based on good correspondence between the results. at 4 C for 15 min. Protein concentrations were decided using Bio-Rad reagent (Bio-Rad Inc., Hercules, CA, USA). The 5 loading Alloxazine buffer (Beyotime Inc., Shanghai, China) was added to the proteins and boiled at 120 C for 5 min. Dodecyl sulfate sodium salt (SDS)-Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) (SDS-PAGE) gels were prepared at 8%, 10%, or 12%. Thirty micrograms of proteins were electrophoresed (30 V for 30 min, 70 V for 40 min, and 130 V for 30 min) Alloxazine and then transferred to nitrocellulose (NC) membranes (300 mA for 90 min). After, the membranes were blocked with blocking buffer (5% Adam30 bovine serum albumin (BSA)) for 1 h and incubated with following primary antibodies at 4 C overnight. Rabbit anti-GAPDH (# db106, 1:50000) and rabbit alpha easy muscle actin (-SMA) (#db2140, 1:8000) were purchased from Digbio (Hangzhou, China). Rabbit anti-fibronectin (#GTX112794, 1:1000) and rabbit anti-E-cadherin (#GTX100443, 1:1000) were purchased from Gentex (San Antonio, TX, USA). After, the membranes were washed with 1 Tris-buffered saline and Tween-20 (TBST) three times, and then incubated with the secondary antibody (1:5000) (IRDye 800CW goat anti-rabbit; IRDye 680CW goat anti-mouse (LI-COR Biosciences, Cambridge, U.K.) for 1.5 h at room temperature. The membranes were washed with 1 TBST three times and then imaged with Odyssey CLx infrared imaging system (LI-COR Biosciences, Cambridge, U.K.). The Alloxazine bands were quantified using Imagine Studio Version 5.2 software (LI-COR Biosciences, Cambridge, U.K.), and GAPDH was used to normalize the target of the proteins. 2.5. Detection of Morphological Parameters The images of the cells recorded by a digital camera are fairly complicated due to the different cell growth stages, cell numbers, and the mixtures of various substance (adherent cells and floating cells) (Figure 1). All of that added the difficulty of image processing. To ensure the robustness of our method in complex situations, we designed the following three processes: (a) image preprocessing, (b) HT, and (c) post-processing (Figure 1). These processes emphasize the important information in the image and ignore the other noise. Our framework was Alloxazine realized by programming based on MATLAB R2014a. Open in a separate window Figure 1 The framework of the digital image process. (a) Image preprocessing includes gray transformation, median filter, contrast manipulation, and canny edge detection; (b) Hough transform (HT) demonstrates the transformation between image space and parameter space; and (c) post-processing includes removing excessive lines and integrating intersecting lines. 2.5.1. Image Preprocessing The original three-channel color images (red, blue, green (RGB)) were first transformed into single-channel gray images. We then chose a median filter to remove the noise to preserve the sharp edge of cells while efficiently removing the salt-and-pepper noise . The cells in the image are relatively darker since the light transmittance of the cytoplasm is lower than that of the culture medium. Therefore, the images should be further enhanced with contrast manipulation by highlighting the shape of cells; a cube function was also implemented to stretch the gray range as follows: represents the algebraic distance between the line and the origin, and is the angle between the normal line and the plane, the curves with an intersection point correspond to collinear points in space (Figure 1b). To specify the unique relationship between the line and the parameters, is restricted to the interval image space can be converted into curves in parameter space, and curves concurrent at (< 0.05 was considered significant. 3. Results 3.1. Phenotypic Changes in the TGF--Induced EMT Process in A549 Cells To investigate the morphological changes of A549 cells, we stimulated A549 cells with TGF- (10 ng/mL), LPS (100 ng/mL; 500 ng/mL), and CSE (1% and 2%). Cells were treated following the timeline in Figure 3a. We found that after the induction of TGF-, A549 cells changed to the fibroblast type, but this change was not observed in the LPS and CSE.