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J Struct Biol. 2011 Sep;175(3):372-83. doi: 10.1016/j.jsb.2011.05.010. Epub 2011 May 17.

A differential structure approach to membrane segmentation in electron tomography.

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Supercomputing and Algorithms Group, Associated Unit CSIC-UAL, University of Almeria, 04120 Almeria, Spain.


Electron tomography allows three-dimensional visualization of cellular landscapes in molecular detail. Segmentation is a paramount stage for the interpretation of the reconstructed tomograms. Although several computational approaches have been proposed, none has prevailed as a generic method and thus segmentation through manual annotation is still a common choice. In this work we introduce a segmentation method targeted at membranes, which define the natural limits of compartments within biological specimens. Our method is based on local differential structure and on a Gaussian-like membrane model. First, it isolates information through scale-space and finds potential membrane-like points at a local scale. Then, the structural information is integrated at a global scale to yield the definite segmentation. We show and validate the performance of the algorithm on a number of tomograms under different experimental conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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