Metrics for Assessing Cytoskeletal Orientational Correlations and Consistency

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Metrics for Assessing Cytoskeletal Orientational Correlations and Consistency

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Title: Metrics for Assessing Cytoskeletal Orientational Correlations and Consistency
Author: Drew, Nancy K.; Eagleson, Mackenzie A.; Baldo Jr., Danny B.; Parker, Kevin Kit; Grosberg, Anna

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Citation: Drew, Nancy K., Mackenzie A. Eagleson, Danny B. Baldo Jr., Kevin Kit Parker, and Anna Grosberg. 2015. “Metrics for Assessing Cytoskeletal Orientational Correlations and Consistency.” PLoS Computational Biology 11 (4): e1004190. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004190.
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Abstract: In biology, organization at multiple scales potentiates biological function. Current advances in staining and imaging of biological tissues provide a wealth of data, but there are few metrics to quantitatively describe these findings. In particular there is a need for a metric that would characterize the correlation and consistency of orientation of different biological constructs within a tissue. We aimed to create such a metric and to demonstrate its use with images of cardiac tissues. The co-orientational order parameter (COOP) was based on the mathematical framework of a classical parameter, the orientational order parameter (OOP). Theorems were proven to illustrate the properties and boundaries of the COOP, which was then applied to both synthetic and experimental data. We showed the COOP to be useful for quantifying the correlation of orientation of constructs such as actin filaments and sarcomeric Z-lines. As expected, cardiac tissues showed perfect correlation between actin filaments and Z-lines. We also demonstrated the use of COOP to quantify the consistency of construct orientation within cells of the same shape. The COOP provides a quantitative tool to characterize tissues beyond co-localization or single construct orientation distribution. In the future, this new parameter could be used to represent the quantitative changes during maturation of cardiac tissue, pathological malformation, and other processes.
Published Version: doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004190
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