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This paper addresses the implementation of image processing and computer vision techniques to automate tracer flow extraction in images obtained by the photochromic dye technique. This task is important in modeled arterial blood flow studies. Currently, it is performed via manual application of B-spline curve fitting. However, this is a tedious and error-prone procedure and its results are nonreproducible. In the proposed approach, active contours, snakes, are employed in a new curve-fitting method for tracer flow extraction in photochromic images. An algorithm implementing snakes is introduced to automate extraction. Utilizing correlation matching, the algorithm quickly locates and localizes all flow traces in the images. The feasibility of the method for tracer flow extraction is demonstrated. Moreover, results regarding the automation algorithm are presented showing its accuracy and effectiveness. The proposed approach for tracer flow extraction has potential for real-system application.
Date of Publication: June 1997