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Challenges and Opportunities in Biological Imaging

M. Unser

Plenary talk, 2015 IEEE International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP'15), Québec QC, Canada, September 27-30, 2015.



While the major achievements in medical imaging can be traced back to the end the 20th century, there are strong indicators that we have recently entered the golden age of cellular/biological imaging. The enabling modality is fluorescence microscopy which results from the combination of highly specific fluorescent probes (Nobel Prize 2008) and sophisticated optical instrumentation (Nobel Prize 2014). Modern microscopy centers are providing biologists with unprecedented amounts of data in 3D + time.

To address the computational aspects, two nascent fields have emerged in which image processing is expected to play a significant role. The first is "digital optics" where the idea is to combine optics with advanced signal processing in order to increase spatial resolution while reducing acquisition time. The second area is "bioimage informatics" which is concerned with the development of image analysis software to make microscopy more quantitative. The key issue here is reliable image segmentation as well as the ability to track structures of interest over time. We shall discuss specific examples and describe state-of-the-art solutions for bioimage reconstruction and analysis. This will help us build a list of challenges and opportunities to guide further research in bioimaging.


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