Combination of live-imaging and live-manipulation of developing embryos in vivo provides a useful tool to study developmental processes. Identification and selection of target cells for an in vivo live-manipulation are generally performed by experience- and knowledge-based decision-making of the observer. Computer-assisted live-prediction method would be an additional approach to facilitate the identification and selection of the appropriate target cells. Herein we report such a method using developing zebrafish embryos. We choose V2 neural progenitor cells in developing zebrafish embryo as their successive shape changes can be visualized in real-time in vivo. We developed a relatively simple mathematical method of describing cellular geometry of V2 cells to predict cell division-timing based on their successively changing shapes in vivo. Using quantitatively measured 4D live-imaging data, features of V2 cell-shape at each time point prior to division were extracted and a statistical model capturing the successive changes of the V2 cell-shape was developed. By applying sequential Bayesian inference method to the model, we successfully predicted division-timing of randomly selected individual V2 cells while the cell behavior was being live-imaged. This system could assist pre-selecting target cells desirable for real-time manipulation-thus, presenting a new opportunity for in vivo experimental systems.
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