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Cellpose: A Generalist Algorithm For Cellular Segmentation

Carsen Stringer, Tim Wang, Michalis Michaelos, Marius Pachitariu

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Many biological applications require the segmentation of cell bodies, membranes and nuclei from microscopy images. Deep learning has enabled great progress on this problem, but current methods are specialized for images that have large training datasets. Here we introduce a generalist, deep learning-based segmentation method called Cellpose, which can precisely segment cells from a wide range of image types and does not require model retraining or parameter adjustments. We trained Cellpose on a new dataset of highly-varied images of cells, containing over 70,000 segmented objects. We also demonstrate a 3D extension of Cellpose which reuses the 2D model and does not require 3D-labelled data. To support community contributions to the training data, we developed software for manual labelling and for curation of the automated results, with optional direct upload to our data repository. Periodically retraining the model on the community-contributed data will ensure that Cellpose improves constantly.