PTOLEMI: Personalized Cancer Treatment through Machine Learning-Enabled Image Analysis of Microfluidic Assays

Bernard Moerdler, Matan Krasner, Elazar Orenbuch, Avi Grad, Benjamin Friedman, Eliezer Graber, Efrat Barbiro-Michaely, Doron Gerber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Contemporary personalized cancer diagnostic approaches encounter multiple challenges. The presence of cellular and molecular heterogeneity in patient samples introduces complexities to analysis protocols. Conventional analyses are manual, reliant on expert personnel, time-intensive, and financially burdensome. The copious data amassed for subsequent analysis strains the system, obstructing real-time diagnostics at the “point of care” and impeding prompt intervention. This study introduces PTOLEMI: Python-based Tensor Oncological Locator Examining Microfluidic Instruments. PTOLEMI stands out as a specialized system designed for high-throughput image analysis, particularly in the realm of microfluidic assays. Utilizing a blend of machine learning algorithms, PTOLEMI can process large datasets rapidly and with high accuracy, making it feasible for point-of-care diagnostics. Furthermore, its advanced analytics capabilities facilitate a more granular understanding of cellular dynamics, thereby allowing for more targeted and effective treatment options. Leveraging cutting-edge AI algorithms, PTOLEMI rapidly and accurately discriminates between cell viability and distinct cell types within biopsy samples. The diagnostic process becomes automated, swift, precise, and resource-efficient, rendering it well-suited for point-of-care requisites. By employing PTOLEMI alongside a microfluidic cell culture chip, physicians can attain personalized diagnostic and therapeutic insights. This paper elucidates the evolution of PTOLEMI and showcases its prowess in analyzing cancer patient samples within a microfluidic apparatus. While the integration of machine learning tools into biomedical domains is undoubtedly in progress, this study’s innovation lies in the fusion of PTOLEMI with a microfluidic platform—an integrated, rapid, and independent framework for personalized drug screening-based clinical decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3075
Issue number19
StatePublished - 28 Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • image processing
  • machine learning
  • microfluidics
  • point of care diagnostics


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