Bayesian Model Based Tracking with Application to Cell Segmentation and Tracking
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The goal of this research is to develop a model-based tracking framework with biomedical imaging applications. This is an interdisciplinary area of research with interests in machine vision, image processing, and biology. This thesis presents methods of image modeling, tracking, and data association applied to problems in multi-cellular image analysis, especially hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) images at the current stage. The focus of this research is on the development of a robust image analysis interface capable of detecting, locating, and tracking individual hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which proliferate and differentiate to different blood cell types continuously during their lifetime, and are of substantial interest in gene therapy, cancer, and stem-cell research. Such a system can be potentially employed in the future to track different groups of HSCs extracted from bone marrow and recognize the best candidates based on some biomedical-biological criteria. Selected candidates can further be used for bone marrow transplantation (BMT) which is a medical procedure for the treatment of various incurable diseases such as leukemia, lymphomas, aplastic anemia, immune deficiency disorders, multiple myeloma and some solid tumors. Tracking HSCs over time is a localization-based tracking problem which is one of the most challenging tracking problems to be solved. The proposed cell tracking system consists of three inter-related stages: i) Cell detection/localization, ii) The association of detected cells, iii) Background estimation/subtraction. that will be discussed in detail.