Thursday, November 17, 2011

Reconstructing fiber networks from confocal image stacks

We present a numerically efficient method to reconstruct a disordered network of thin biopolymers, such as collagen gels, from three-dimensional (3D) image stacks recorded with a confocal microscope. Our method is based on a template matching algorithm that simultaneously performs a binarization and skeletonization of the network. The size and intensity pattern of the template is automatically adapted to the input data so that the method is scale invariant and generic. Furthermore, the template matching threshold is iteratively optimized to ensure that the final skeletonized network obeys a universal property of voxelized random line networks, namely, solid-phase voxels have most likely three solid-phase neighbors in a $3\times3$ neighborhood. This optimization criterion makes our method free of user-defined parameters and the output exceptionally robust against imaging noise.

Article in ArXiv

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