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Journal Articles BMC Bioinformatics Year : 2018

ATMAD : robust image analysis for Automatic Tissue MicroArray De-arraying


Background. Over the last two decades, an innovative technology called Tissue Microarray (TMA), which combines multi-tissue and DNA microarray concepts, has been widely used in the field of histology. It consists of a collection of several (up to 1000 or more) tissue samples that are assembled onto a single support – typically a glass slide – according to a design grid (array) layout, in order to allow multiplex analysis by treating numerous samples under identical and standardized conditions. However, during the TMA manufacturing process, the sample positions can be highly distorted from the design grid due to the imprecision when assembling tissue samples and the deformation of the embedding waxes. Consequently, these distortions may lead to severe errors of (histological) assay results when the sample identities are mismatched between the design and its manufactured output. The development of a robust method for de-arraying TMA, which localizes and matches TMA samples with their design grid, is therefore crucial to overcome the bottleneck of this prominent technology. Results. In this paper, we propose an Automatic, fast and robust TMA De-arraying (ATMAD) approach dedicated to images acquired with bright field and fluorescence microscopes (or scanners). First, tissue samples are localized in the large image by applying a locally adaptive thresholding on the isotropic wavelet transform of the input TMA image. To reduce false detections, a parametric shape model is considered for segmenting ellipse-shaped objects at each detected position. Segmented objects that do not meet the size and the roundness criteria are discarded from the list of tissue samples before being matched with the design grid. Sample matching is performed by estimating the TMA grid deformation under the thin-plate model. Finally, thanks to the estimated deformation, the true tissue samples that were preliminary rejected in the early image processing step are recognized by running a second segmentation step. Conclusions. We developed a novel de-arraying approach for TMA analysis. By combining waveletbased detection, active contour segmentation, and thin-plate spline interpolation, our approach is able to handle TMA images with high dynamic, poor signal-to-noise ratio, complex background and non-linear deformation of TMA grid. In addition, the deformation estimation produces quantitative information to asset the manufacturing quality of TMAs.
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Dates and versions

hal-01577238 , version 1 (25-08-2017)


  • HAL Id : hal-01577238 , version 1


Hoaï-Nam Nguyen, Vincent Paveau, Cyril Cauchois, Charles Kervrann. ATMAD : robust image analysis for Automatic Tissue MicroArray De-arraying. BMC Bioinformatics, 2018, 19 (148), pp.23. ⟨hal-01577238⟩


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