Toward a Morphodynamic Model of the Cell [Signal processing for cell modeling]
From a systems biology perspective, the cell is the principal element of information integration. Therefore, understanding the cell in its spatiotemporal context is the key to unraveling many of the still unknown mechanisms of life and disease. This article reviews image processing aspects relevant to the quantification of cell morphology and dynamics. We cover both acquisition (hardware) and analysis (software) related issues, in a multiscale fashion, from the detection of cellular components to the description of the entire cell in relation to its extracellular environment. We then describe ongoing efforts to integrate all this vast and diverse information along with data about the biomechanics of the cell to create a credible model of cell morphology and behavior.