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Morphological reduction of images

Nicolas Blanc
Section Microtechnique, EPFL

Semester project
February 2006

Typically, images of neurons show a bulky somatic body prolonged by long dendrites (Figure 1). Since relatively little information is contained in these generally large images, it is desirable to reduce the images before processing them, such as to minimize the computational cost.

By performing a traditional image reduction operation, the dendrites tend to disappear. As this is not acceptable, we propose a pre-processing step based on morphological tools, designed to increase the presence of the dendrites after reduction (Figure 2).

When we look at Figure 2, we can see that dendrites are well defined and homogeneous, even if image has been reduced.
We implemented our algorithm as a plug-in for ImageJ, with a friendly graphical interface.