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Proc IEEE Int Symp Biomed Imaging. 2010 Apr 14;2010:145-148.


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Center for Biomedical Imaging and Informatics, The Cancer Institute of NJ, UMDNJ-RWJMS.


A multispectral camera is capable of imaging a histologic slide at narrow bandwidths over the range of the visible spectrum. There is currently no clear consensus over the circumstances in which this added spectral data may improve computer-aided interpretation and diagnosis of imaged pathology specimens [1, 2, 3]. Two spectra which are perceived as the same color are called metamers, and the collection of all such spectra are referred to as the metamer set. Highly metameric colors are amenable to separation through multispectral imaging (MSI).Using the transformation between the spectrum and its perceived color, our work addresses the question of when MSI reveals information not represented by a standard RGB color image. An analytical estimate on the size of the metamer set is derived for the case of independent spectral absorption. It is shown that colors which are closest to the white point on the chromaticity diagram are highly metameric. A numerical method to estimate the metamer set in a domain-specific manner is provided. The method is demonstrated on multispectral data sets of imaged peripheral blood smears and breast tissue microarrays. An a priori estimate on the degree of metamerism from a standard color image is presented.

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