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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6090912, 10 pages
Research Article

Automated Cell Selection Using Support Vector Machine for Application to Spectral Nanocytology

1Biomedical Engineering Department, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA
2NanoCytomics LLC, 1801 Maple Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201, USA

Received 2 November 2015; Revised 11 December 2015; Accepted 14 December 2015

Academic Editor: Yudong Cai

Copyright © 2016 Qin Miao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Partial wave spectroscopy (PWS) enables quantification of the statistical properties of cell structures at the nanoscale, which has been used to identify patients harboring premalignant tumors by interrogating easily accessible sites distant from location of the lesion. Due to its high sensitivity, cells that are well preserved need to be selected from the smear images for further analysis. To date, such cell selection has been done manually. This is time-consuming, is labor-intensive, is vulnerable to bias, and has considerable inter- and intraoperator variability. In this study, we developed a classification scheme to identify and remove the corrupted cells or debris that are of no diagnostic value from raw smear images. The slide of smear sample is digitized by acquiring and stitching low-magnification transmission. Objects are then extracted from these images through segmentation algorithms. A training-set is created by manually classifying objects as suitable or unsuitable. A feature-set is created by quantifying a large number of features for each object. The training-set and feature-set are used to train a selection algorithm using Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifiers. We show that the selection algorithm achieves an error rate of 93% with a sensitivity of 95%.