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Constrained distance transforms for spatial atlas registration

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    Rights statement: © 2015 Hill and Baldock; licensee BioMed Central. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Original languageEnglish
Article number90
JournalBMC Bioinformatics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2015


Spatial frameworks are used to capture organ or whole organism image data in biomedical research. The registration of large biomedical volumetric images is a complex and challenging task, but one that is required for spatially mapped biomedical atlas systems. In most biomedical applications the transforms required are non-rigid and may involve significant deformation relating to variation in pose, natural variation and mutation. Here we develop a new technique to establish such transformations for mapping data that cannot be achieved by existing approaches and that can be used interactively for expert editorial review.

This paper presents the Constrained Distance Transform (CDT), a novel method for interactive image registration. The CDT uses radial basis function transforms with distances constrained to geodesics within the domains of the objects being registered. A geodesic distance algorithm is discussed and evaluated. Examples of registration using the CDT are presented.

The CDT method is shown to be capable of simultaneous registration and foreground segmentation even when very large deformations are required.

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