Bioimaging of animal embryogenesis: mathematical methods and computational algorithms

Rizzi, Barbara (2009) Bioimaging of animal embryogenesis: mathematical methods and computational algorithms, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Bioingegneria, 21 Ciclo.
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Some fundamental biological processes such as embryonic development have been preserved during evolution and are common to species belonging to different phylogenetic positions, but are nowadays largely unknown. The understanding of cell morphodynamics leading to the formation of organized spatial distribution of cells such as tissues and organs can be achieved through the reconstruction of cells shape and position during the development of a live animal embryo. We design in this work a chain of image processing methods to automatically segment and track cells nuclei and membranes during the development of a zebrafish embryo, which has been largely validates as model organism to understand vertebrate development, gene function and healingrepair mechanisms in vertebrates. The embryo is previously labeled through the ubiquitous expression of fluorescent proteins addressed to cells nuclei and membranes, and temporal sequences of volumetric images are acquired with laser scanning microscopy. Cells position is detected by processing nuclei images either through the generalized form of the Hough transform or identifying nuclei position with local maxima after a smoothing preprocessing step. Membranes and nuclei shapes are reconstructed by using PDEs based variational techniques such as the Subjective Surfaces and the Chan Vese method. Cells tracking is performed by combining informations previously detected on cells shape and position with biological regularization constraints. Our results are manually validated and reconstruct the formation of zebrafish brain at 7-8 somite stage with all the cells tracked starting from late sphere stage with less than 2% error for at least 6 hours. Our reconstruction opens the way to a systematic investigation of cellular behaviors, of clonal origin and clonal complexity of brain organs, as well as the contribution of cell proliferation modes and cell movements to the formation of local patterns and morphogenetic fields.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Rizzi, Barbara
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze e ingegneria dell'informazione
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Data di discussione
17 Aprile 2009

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