Virtual Tool for High-Speed Analysis of 3D Biomedical Imaging Data

The increasingly powerful microscopes used in biomedical imaging provide biologists with 3D images of hundreds of cells, and cells in these images are often layered on each other. Under these conditions, it can be impossible for traditional computational methods to quickly determine the cells' properties. Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) have developed a virtual tool called Active Cell that can analyze dozens of images in just an hour. The tool is the result of complex mathematical calculations and sophisticated algorithms. Seen on a computer display, it looks like a flattened sphere that can be squished into various shapes. Users can scroll their mouse over a 3D digital microscopic image, using the globe to detect and segregate single cells from within the image.