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Published October 4, 2005 | Published
Journal Article Open

Four-dimensional cardiac imaging in living embryos via postacquisition synchronization of nongated slice sequences


Being able to acquire, visualize, and analyze 3D time series (4D data) from living embryos makes it possible to understand complex dynamic movements at early stages of embryonic development. Despite recent technological breakthroughs in 2D dynamic imaging, confocal microscopes remain quite slow at capturing optical sections at successive depths. However, when the studied motion is periodic— such as for a beating heart—a way to circumvent this problem is to acquire, successively, sets of 2D+time slice sequences at increasing depths over at least one time period and later rearrange them to recover a 3D+time sequence. In other imaging modalities at macroscopic scales, external gating signals, e.g., an electro-cardiogram, have been used to achieve proper synchronization. Since gating signals are either unavailable or cumbersome to acquire in microscopic organisms, we have developed a procedure to reconstruct volumes based solely on the information contained in the image sequences. The central part of the algorithm is a least-squares minimization of an objective criterion that depends on the similarity between the data from neighboring depths. Owing to a wavelet-based multiresolution approach, our method is robust to common confocal microscopy artifacts. We validate the procedure on both simulated data and in vivo measurements from living zebrafish embryos.

Additional Information

© 2005 SPIE. Paper 05032R received Feb. 4, 2005; revised manuscript received Apr. 7, 2005; accepted for publication May 6, 2005; published online Oct. 4, 2005. We thank S. Lin for the transgenic Tg(gata1::GFP) zebrafish line. We thank Mike Tyszka for his comments on the manuscript. M. Liebling is supported by a fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation, PBEL2-104418.

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August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023