Block matching 3D random noise filtering for absorption optical projection tomography
Feruglio, P. Fumene
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CitationFumene Feruglio, P, C Vinegoni, J Gros, A Sbarbati, and R Weissleder. 2010. “Block Matching 3D Random Noise Filtering for Absorption Optical Projection Tomography.” Physics in Medicine and Biology 55 (18): 5401–15. https://doi.org/10.1088/0031-9155/55/18/009.
AbstractAbsorption and emission optical projection tomography (OPT), alternatively referred to as optical computed tomography (optical-CT) and optical-emission computed tomography (optical-ECT), are recently developed three-dimensional imaging techniques with value for developmental biology and ex vivo gene expression studies. The techniques' principles are similar to the ones used for x-ray computed tomography and are based on the approximation of negligible light scattering in optically cleared samples. The optical clearing is achieved by a chemical procedure which aims at substituting the cellular fluids within the sample with a cell membranes' index matching solution. Once cleared the sample presents very low scattering and is then illuminated with a light collimated beam whose intensity is captured in transillumination mode by a CCD camera. Different projection images of the sample are subsequently obtained over a 360 degrees full rotation, and a standard backprojection algorithm can be used in a similar fashion as for x-ray tomography in order to obtain absorption maps. Because not all biological samples present significant absorption contrast, it is not always possible to obtain projections with a good signal-to-noise ratio, a condition necessary to achieve high-quality tomographic reconstructions. Such is the case for example, for early stage's embryos. In this work we demonstrate how, through the use of a random noise removal algorithm, the image quality of the reconstructions can be considerably improved even when the noise is strongly present in the acquired projections. Specifically, we implemented a block matching 3D (BM3D) filter applying it separately on each acquired transillumination projection before performing a complete three-dimensional tomographical reconstruction. To test the efficiency of the adopted filtering scheme, a phantom and a real biological sample were processed. In both cases, the BM3D filter led to a signal-to-noise ratio increment of over 30 dB on severe noise-affected reconstructions revealing original-noise-hidden-image details. These results show the utility of the BM3D approach for OPT under typical conditions of very low light absorption, suggesting its implementation as an efficient alternative to other filtering schemes such as for example the median filter.
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