Discrete protein metric (DPM): A new image similarity metric to calculate accuracy of deep learning-generated cell focal adhesion predictions
Contreras, M., Bachman, W., & Long, D. S. (2022). Discrete protein metric (DPM): A new image similarity metric to calculate accuracy of deep learning-generated cell focal adhesion predictions. Micron, 160, 103302. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.micron.2022.103302
Understanding cell behaviors can provide new knowledge on the development of different pathologies. Focal adhesion (FA) sites are important sub-cellular structures that are involved in these processes. To better facilitate the study of FA sites, deep learning (DL) can be used to predict FA site morphology based on limited microscopic datasets (e.g., cell membrane images). However, calculating the accuracy score of these predictions can be challenging due to the discrete/point pattern like nature of FA sites. In the present work, a new image similarity metric, discrete protein metric (DPM), was developed to calculate FA prediction accuracy. This metric measures differences in distribution (d), shape/size (s), and angle (a) of FA sites between predicted and ground truth microscopy images. Performance of the DPM was evaluated by comparing it to three other commonly used image similarity metrics: Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC), feature similarity index (FSIM), and Intersection over Union (IoU). A sensitivity analysis was performed by comparing changes in each metric value due to quantifiable changes in FA site location, number, aspect ratio, area, or orientation. Furthermore, accuracy score of DL-generated predictions was calculated using all four metrics to compare their ability to capture variation across samples. Results showed better sensitivity and range of variation for DPM compared to the other metrics tested. Most importantly, DPM had the ability to determine which FA predictions were quantitatively more accurate and consistent with qualitative assessments. The proposed DPM hence provides a method to validate DL-generated FA predictions and has the potential to be used for investigation of other sub-cellular protein aggregates relevant to cell biology.