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Liver Microcirculation Analysis by Red Blood Cell Motion Modeling in Intravital Microscopy Images

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5 Author(s)

Intravital microscopy has been used to visualize the microcirculation by imaging fluorescent labeled red blood cells (RBCs). Traditionally, microcirculation has been modeled by computing the mean velocity of a few, randomly selected, manually tracked RBCs. However, this protocol is tedious, time consuming, and subjective with technician related bias. We present a new method for analyzing the microcirculation by modeling the RBC motion through automatic tracking. The tracking of RBCs is challenging as in each image, as many as 200 cells move through a complex network of vessels at a wide range of speeds while deforming in shape. To reliably detect RBCs traveling at a wide range of speeds, a window of temporal template matching is applied. Then, cells appearing in successive frames are corresponded based on the motion behavior constraints in terms of the direction, magnitude, and path. The performance evaluation against a ground truth indicates the detection accuracy up to 84% TP at 6% FP and a correspondence accuracy of 89%. We include an in-depth discussion on comparison of the microcirculation based on motion modeling from the proposed automated method against a mean velocity from manual analysis protocol in terms of precision, objectivity, and sensitivity.

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Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 1 )