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J Struct Biol. 2008 Dec;164(3):304-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jsb.2008.09.004. Epub 2008 Sep 19.

Three-dimensional geometric modeling of membrane-bound organelles in ventricular myocytes: bridging the gap between microscopic imaging and mathematical simulation.

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Department of Mathematics, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.


A general framework of image-based geometric processing is presented to bridge the gap between three-dimensional (3D) imaging that provides structural details of a biological system and mathematical simulation where high-quality surface or volumetric meshes are required. A 3D density map is processed in the order of image pre-processing (contrast enhancement and anisotropic filtering), feature extraction (boundary segmentation and skeletonization), and high-quality and realistic surface (triangular) and volumetric (tetrahedral) mesh generation. While the tool-chain described is applicable to general types of 3D imaging data, the performance is demonstrated specifically on membrane-bound organelles in ventricular myocytes that are imaged and reconstructed with electron microscopic (EM) tomography and two-photon microscopy (T-PM). Of particular interest in this study are two types of membrane-bound Ca(2+)-handling organelles, namely, transverse tubules (T-tubules) and junctional sarcoplasmic reticulum (jSR), both of which play an important role in regulating the excitation-contraction (E-C) coupling through dynamic Ca(2+) mobilization in cardiomyocytes.

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