Improving the visualization of electron-microscopy data through optical flow interpolation

Lucian Carata, Dan Shao, Markus Hadwiger, Eduard Gröeller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


Technical developments in neurobiology have reached a point where the acquisition of high resolution images representing individual neurons and synapses becomes possible. For this, the brain tissue samples are sliced using a diamond knife and imaged with electron-microscopy (EM). However, the technique achieves a low resolution in the cutting direction, due to limitations of the mechanical process, making a direct visualization of a dataset difficult. We aim to increase the depth resolution of the volume by adding new image slices interpolated from the existing ones, without requiring modifications to the EM image-capturing method. As classical interpolation methods do not provide satisfactory results on this type of data, the current paper proposes a re-framing of the problem in terms of motion volumes, considering the depth axis as a temporal axis. An optical flow method is adapted to estimate the motion vectors of pixels in the EM images, and this information is used to compute and insert multiple new images at certain depths in the volume. We evaluate the visualization results in comparison with interpolation methods currently used on EM data, transforming the highly anisotropic original dataset into a dataset with a larger depth resolution. The interpolation based on optical flow better reveals neurite structures with realistic undistorted shapes, and helps to easier map neuronal connections. © 2011 ACM.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 27th Spring Conference on Computer Graphics - SCCG '11
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781450319782
StatePublished - 2013


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