Fractal Dimension Analysis of High-Resolution X-Ray Phase Contrast Micro-Tomography Images at Different Threshold Levels in a Mouse Spinal Cord

Laura Maugeri, Mauro DiNuzzo, Marta Moraschi, Charles Nicaise, Inna Bukreeva, Fabio Mangini, Federico Giove, Alessia Cedola, Michela Fratini

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Abstract

Fractal analysis is a powerful method for the morphological study of complex systems that is increasingly applied to biomedical images. Spatial resolution and image segmentation are crucial for the discrimination of tissue structures at the multiscale level. In this work, we have applied fractal analysis to high-resolution X-ray phase contrast micro-tomography (XrPCμT) images in both uninjured and injured tissue of a mouse spinal cord. We estimated the fractal dimension (FD) using the box-counting method on tomographic slices segmented at different threshold levels. We observed an increased FD in the ipsilateral injured hemicord compared with the contralateral uninjured tissue, which was almost independent of the chosen threshold. Moreover, we found that images exhibited the highest fractality close to the global histogram threshold level. Finally, we showed that the FD estimate largely depends on the image histogram regardless of tissue appearance. Our results demonstrate that the pre-processing of XrPCμT images is critical to fractal analysis and the estimation of FD
Original languageEnglish
Article number48
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalCondensed Matter
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Keywords

  • Ex vivo mouse spinal cord
  • Fractal dimension
  • High-resolution X-Ray phase contrast micro tomography

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