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Comput Methods Programs Biomed. 2009 Dec;96(3):193-204. doi: 10.1016/j.cmpb.2009.04.013. Epub 2009 May 26.

Object density-based image segmentation and its applications in biomedical image analysis.

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Department of Biological Engineering, University of Missouri, Columbia, 65211, USA.


In many applications of medical image analysis, the density of an object is the most important feature for isolating an area of interest (image segmentation). In this research, an object density-based image segmentation methodology is developed, which incorporates intensity-based, edge-based and texture-based segmentation techniques. The proposed method consists of three main stages: preprocessing, object segmentation and final segmentation. Image enhancement, noise reduction and layer-of-interest extraction are several subtasks of preprocessing. Object segmentation utilizes a marker-controlled watershed technique to identify each object of interest (OI) from the background. A marker estimation method is proposed to minimize over-segmentation resulting from the watershed algorithm. Object segmentation provides an accurate density estimation of OI which is used to guide the subsequent segmentation steps. The final stage converts the distribution of OI into textural energy by using fractal dimension analysis. An energy-driven active contour procedure is designed to delineate the area with desired object density. Experimental results show that the proposed method is 98% accurate in segmenting synthetic images. Segmentation of microscopic images and ultrasound images shows the potential utility of the proposed method in different applications of medical image processing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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