Document Type


Publication Date




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Journal of Industry-University Collaboration








Purpose: Computer vision for automated analysis of cells and tissues usually include extracting features from images before analyzing such features via various machine learning and machine vision algorithms. The purpose of this work is to explore and demonstrate the ability of a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) to classify cells pictured via brightfield microscopy without the need of any feature extraction, using a minimum of images, improving work-flows that involve cancer cell identification.

Design/methodology/approach: The methodology involved a quantitative measure of the performance of a Convolutional Neural Network in distinguishing between two cancer lines. In their approach, they trained, validated and tested their 6-layer CNN on 1,241 images of MDA-MB-468 and MCF7 breast cancer cell line in an end-to-end fashion, allowing the system to distinguish between the two different cancer cell types.

Findings: They obtained a 99% accuracy, providing a foundation for more comprehensive systems.

Originality/value: Value can be found in that systems based on this design can be used to assist cell identification in a variety of contexts, whereas a practical implication can be found that these systems can be deployed to assist biomedical workflows quickly and at low cost. In conclusion, this system demonstrates the potentials of end-to-end learning systems for faster and more accurate automated cell analysis.


Copyright © 2019, Darlington A. Akogo and Xavier-Lewis Palmer

This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors.

Original Publication Citation

Akogo, D. A., & Palmer, X.-L. (2018). End-to-end learning via a convolutional neural network for cancer cell line classification. Journal of Industry-University Collaboration, 1(1), 17-23.


0000-0002-1289-5302 (Palmer)