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Published Online: 1 February 2017

A Quantitative Three-Dimensional Image Analysis Tool for Maximal Acquisition of Spatial Heterogeneity Data

Publication: Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods
Volume 23, Issue Number 2


Three-dimensional (3D) imaging techniques provide spatial insight into environmental and cellular interactions and are implemented in various fields, including tissue engineering, but have been restricted by limited quantification tools that misrepresent or underutilize the cellular phenomena captured. This study develops image postprocessing algorithms pairing complex Euclidean metrics with Monte Carlo simulations to quantitatively assess cell and microenvironment spatial distributions while utilizing, for the first time, the entire 3D image captured. Although current methods only analyze a central fraction of presented confocal microscopy images, the proposed algorithms can utilize 210% more cells to calculate 3D spatial distributions that can span a 23-fold longer distance. These algorithms seek to leverage the high sample cost of 3D tissue imaging techniques by extracting maximal quantitative data throughout the captured image.

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Published In

cover image Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods
Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods
Volume 23Issue Number 2February 2017
Pages: 108 - 117
PubMed: 28068883


Published in print: February 2017
Published online: 1 February 2017
Published ahead of production: 9 January 2017
Accepted: 9 January 2017
Received: 7 October 2016


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Mark C. Allenby
Biological Systems Engineering Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.
Ruth Misener
Department of Computing, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.
Nicki Panoskaltsis
Biological Systems Engineering Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.
Department of Hematology, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.
Athanasios Mantalaris
Biological Systems Engineering Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.


Address correspondence to:Athanasios Mantalaris, PhDBiological Systems Engineering Laboratory, ACEX 511Department of Chemical EngineeringImperial College LondonSouth Kensington CampusLondon SW7 2AZUnited Kingdom
E-mail: [email protected]

Disclosure Statement

No competing financial interests exist.

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