Novel image processing methods for the analysis of calcium dynamics in glial cells

Andrea Fanelli, Jasmine Ion Titapiccolo, Federico Esposti, Maddalena Ripamonti, Antonio Malgaroli, Maria G. Signorini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Calcium (Ca 2+) waves and Ca 2+ oscillations within cells initiate a wide range of physiological processes including control of cell signaling, gene expression, secretion, and cell migration. A thorough analysis of Ca 2+ waves in glial cells provides information not only about the subcellular location of signaling processing events but also about nonneuronal or intercellular signaling pathways, their timing, routes, spatial domains, and coordination. In this study, three novel image processing methods have been applied to the study of Ca 2+ dynamics in cells. These bring additional information to the methods already available in the literature, providing insight into the analysis of calcium dynamics in fluorescence recordings and defining bidimensional maps that give a complete and detailed description of calcium intracellular behavior. The application of these processing methods to glial cells highlighted the complex 2-D Ca 2+ dynamics phenomena, the location of calcium uptake and release microdomains on the endoplasmic reticulum, and the correlation between different calcium signals inside the cell. A perinuclear zone acting as a filter and regulator of intracellular calcium waves was detected: it acts as a controller of calcium fluxes between the cytoplasm and the nucleus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5928390
Pages (from-to)2640-2647
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


  • Biomedical image processing
  • calcium signaling
  • cell signaling
  • molecular biology
  • signal processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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