Recent advances in live Ca2+ imaging with increasing spatial and temporal resolution offer unprecedented opportunities, but also generate an unmet need for data processing. Here we developed SICT, a MATLAB program that automatically identifies rapid Ca2+ rises in time-lapse movies with low signal-to-noise ratios, using fluorescent indicators. A graphical user interface allows visual inspection of automatically detected events, reducing manual labour to less than 10% while maintaining quality control. The detection performance was tested using synthetic data with various signal-to-noise ratios. The event inspection phase was evaluated by four human observers. Reliability of the method was demonstrated in a direct comparison between manual and SICT-aided analysis. As a test case in cultured neurons, SICT detected an increase in frequency and duration of spontaneous Ca2+ transients in the presence of caffeine. This new method speeds up the analysis of elementary Ca2+ transients.
Mancini, R., van der Bijl, T., Bourgeois-Jaarsma, Q., Lasabuda, R., & Groffen, A. J. (2018). SICT: automated detection and supervised inspection of fast Ca2+ transients. Scientific Reports, 8(1), . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-33847-4