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Image analysis pipeline for segmentation of a biological porosity network, the lacuno-canalicular system in stingray tesserae

  • A prerequisite for many analysis tasks in modern comparative biology is the segmentation of 3-dimensional (3D) images of the specimens being investigated (e.g. from microCT data). Depending on the specific imaging technique that was used to acquire the images and on the image resolution, different segmentation tools will be required. While some standard tools exist that can often be applied for specific subtasks, building whole processing pipelines solely from standard tools is often difficult. Some tasks may even necessitate the implementation of manual interaction tools to achieve a quality that is sufficient for the subsequent analysis. In this work, we present a pipeline of segmentation tools that can be used for the semi-automatic segmentation and quantitative analysis of voids in tissue (i.e. internal structural porosity). We use this pipeline to analyze lacuno-canalicular networks in stingray tesserae from 3D images acquired with synchrotron microCT. * The first step of this processing pipeline, the segmentation of the tesserae, was performed using standard marker-based watershed segmentation. The efficient processing of the next two steps, that is, the segmentation of all lacunae spaces belonging to a specific tessera and the separation of these spaces into individual lacunae required modern, recently developed tools. * For proofreading, we developed a graph-based interactive method that allowed us to quickly split lacunae that were accidentally merged, and to merge lacunae that were wrongly split. * Finally, the tesserae and their corresponding lacunae were subdivided into anatomical regions of interest (structural wedges) using a semi- manual approach.
Author:Merlind Schotte, Júlia Chaumel, Mason N. Dean, Daniel BaumORCiD
Document Type:Article
Parent Title (English):MethodsX
First Page:100905
Year of first publication:2020
Published in:MethodsX
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