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Automated methods for 3D Segmentation of Focused Ion Beam-Scanning Electron Microscopic Images

By Brian Caffrey, Alexander V Maltsev, Marta Gonzalez-Freire, Lisa M Hartnell, Luigi Ferrucci, Sriram Subramaniam

Posted 01 Jan 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/509232

Focused Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscopy (FIB-SEM) is an imaging approach that enables analysis of the 3D architecture of cells and tissues at resolutions that are 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than that possible with light microscopy. The slow speeds of data collection and analysis are two critical problems that limit more extensive use of FIB-SEM technology. Here, we present a robust method that enables rapid, large-scale acquisition of data from tissue specimens, combined with an approach for automated data segmentation using machine learning, which dramatically increases the speed of image analysis. We demonstrate the feasibility of these methods through the 3D analysis of human muscle tissue by showing that our process results in an improvement in speed of up to three orders of magnitude as compared to manual approaches for data segmentation. All programs and scripts we use are open source and are immediately available for use by others.

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