Open-Source Matlab-Based Graphical User Interface (GUI) For Computer Control of Microscopes Using Micro-Manager
Live time-lapse microscopy is essential for a wide range of biological applications. Software-based automation is the gold standard for the operation of hardware accessories necessary for image acquisition. Given that current software packages are neither affordable nor open to complex structured programming, we have developed a Matlab-based graphical user interface (GUI) that is fundamentally accessible while providing limitless avenues for further customization. The GUI simultaneously communicates with the open-source, cross-functional platform micro-Manager for controlling hardware for time-lapse image acquisition and with other software for image processing. The use of the GUI is demonstrated through an 18-hour cell migration experiment. The results suggest that the GUI can generate high-quality, high-throughput time-lapse images. The core code behind the GUI is open-source so that it can be modified and upgraded. Therefore, it benefits the researchers worldwide by providing them a fundamental yet functional template to add in advanced features specific to their needs, such as additional non-microscopy hardware parts and software packages supported by the Matlab software.