Automated image mosaics by non-automated light microscopes: The MicroMos software tool

F. Piccinini, A. Bevilacqua, E. Lucarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Light widefield microscopes and digital imaging are the basis for most of the analyses performed in every biological laboratory. In particular, the microscope's user is typically interested in acquiring high-detailed images for analysing observed cells and tissues, meanwhile being representative of a wide area to have reliable statistics. The microscopist has to choose between higher magnification factor and extension of the observed area, due to the finite size of the camera's field of view. To overcome the need of arrangement, mosaicing techniques have been developed in the past decades for increasing the camera's field of view by stitching together more images. Nevertheless, these approaches typically work in batch mode and rely on motorized microscopes. Or alternatively, the methods are conceived just to provide visually pleasant mosaics not suitable for quantitative analyses. This work presents a tool for building mosaics of images acquired with nonautomated light microscopes. The method proposed is based on visual information only and the mosaics are built by incrementally stitching couples of images, making the approach available also for online applications. Seams in the stitching regions as well as tonal inhomogeneities are corrected by compensating the vignetting effect. In the experiments performed, we tested different registration approaches, confirming that the translation model is not always the best, despite the fact that the motion of the sample holder of the microscope is apparently translational and typically considered as such. The method's implementation is freely distributed as an open source tool called MicroMos. Its usability makes building mosaics of microscope images at subpixel accuracy easier. Furthermore, optional parameters for building mosaics according to different strategies make MicroMos an easy and reliable tool to compare different registration approaches, warping models and tonal corrections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-250
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Microscopy
Volume252
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2013

Keywords

  • Camera field of view
  • Image processing
  • Image registration
  • On-line image stitching
  • Vignetting correction
  • Widefield microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology

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