Three-dimensional vasculature reconstruction of tumour microenvironment via local clustering and classification

Yanqiao Zhu, Fuhai Li, Tegy J. Vadakkan, Mei Zhang, John Landua, Wei Wei, Jinwen Ma, Mary E. Dickinson, Jeffrey M. Rosen, Michael T. Lewis, Ming Zhan, Stephen T C Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The vasculature inside breast cancers is one important component of the tumour microenvironment. The investigation of its spatial morphology, distribution and interactions with cancer cells, including cancer stem cells, is essential for elucidating mechanisms of tumour development and treatment response. Using confocal microscopy and fluorescent markers, we have acquired threedimensional images of vasculature within mammary tumours and normal mammary glandofmousemodels.However, it is difficult to segment and reconstruct complex vasculature accurately fromthe in vivo three-dimensional images owing to the existence of uneven intensity and regions with low signal-to-noise ratios (SNR). To overcome these challenges, we have developed a novel threedimensional vasculature segmentation method based on local clustering and classification. First, images of vasculature are clustered into local regions, whose boundaries well delineate vasculature even in low SNR and uneven intensity regions. Then local regions belonging to vasculature are identified by applying a semi-supervised classification method based on three informative features of the local regions.Comparison of results using simulated and real vasculature images, frommouse mammary tumours and normalmammary gland, shows that the new method outperforms existingmethods, and can be used for three-dimensional images with uneven background and low SNR to achieve accurate vasculature reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInterface Focus
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 6 2013


  • Tumour microenvironment
  • Vascular imaging
  • Vasculature reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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