Coupled segmentation of nuclear and membrane-bound macromolecules through voting and multiphase level set

Hang Chang, Quan Wen, Bahram Parvin
2015 Pattern Recognition  
Membrane-bound macromolecules play an important role in tissue architecture and cell-cell communication, and is regulated by almost one-third of the genome. At the optical scale, one group of membrane proteins expresses themselves as linear structures along the cell surface boundaries, while others are sequestered; and this paper targets the former group. Segmentation of these membrane proteins on a cell-by-cell basis enables the quantitative assessment of localization for comparative analysis.
more » ... However, such membrane proteins typically lack continuity, and their intensity distributions are often very heterogeneous; moreover, nuclei can form large clump, which further impedes the quantification of membrane signals on a cell-by-cell basis. To tackle these problems, we introduce a three-step process to (i) regularize the membrane signal through iterative tangential voting, (ii) constrain the location of surface proteins by nuclear features, where clumps of nuclei are segmented through a delaunay triangulation approach, and (iii) assign membrane-bound macromolecules to individual cells through an application of multi-phase geodesic level-set. We have validated our method using both synthetic data and a dataset of 200 images, and are able to demonstrate the efficacy of our approach with superior performance.
doi:10.1016/j.patcog.2014.10.005 pmid:25530633 pmcid:PMC4269261 fatcat:dkaprkvcyza4nmfsvn6sz2jne4