Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Microbiology, Infectious diseases, Health-related biotechnology

Publication Details

PLoS one, 10(10), 2015.


We introduce here MATtrack, an open source MATLAB-based computational platform developed to process multi-Tiff files produced by a photo-conversion time lapse protocol for live cell fluorescent microscopy. MATtrack automatically performs a series of steps required for image processing, including extraction and import of numerical values from Multi-Tiff files, red/green image classification using gating parameters, noise filtering, background extraction, contrast stretching and temporal smoothing. MATtrack also integrates a series of algorithms for quantitative image analysis enabling the construction of mean and standard deviation images, clustering and classification of subcellular regions and injection point approximation. In addition, MATtrack features a simple user interface, which enables monitoring of Fluorescent Signal Intensity in multiple Regions of Interest, over time. The latter encapsulates a region growing method to automatically delineate the contours of Regions of Interest selected by the user, and performs background and regional Average Fluorescence Tracking, and automatic plotting. Finally, MATtrack computes convenient visualization and exploration tools including a migration map, which provides an overview of the protein intracellular trajectories and accumulation areas. In conclusion, MATtrack is an open source MATLAB-based software package tailored to facilitate the analysis and visualization of large data files derived from real-time live cell fluorescent microscopy using photoconvertible proteins. It is flexible, user friendly, compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux, and a wide range of data acquisition software. MATtrack is freely available for download at