Markov Random Field Model for Segmenting Large Populations of Lipid Vesicles from Micrographs

Zupanc J, Drobne D, Ster B
[ pdf ] [ site ] Journal of Liposome Research, 2011

Giant unilamellar lipid vesicles, artificial replacements for cell membranes, are a promising tool for in vitro assessment of interactions between products of nanotechnologies and biological membranes. However, the effect of nanoparticles can not be derived from observations on a single specimen, vesicle populations should be observed instead. We propose an adaptation of the Markov random field image segmentation model which allows detection and segmentation of numerous vesicles in micrographs. The reliability of this model with different lighting, blur, and noise characteristics of micrographs is examined and discussed. Moreover, the automatic segmentation is tested on micrographs with thousands of vesicles and the result is compared to that of manual segmentation. The segmentation step presented is part of a methodology we are developing for bio-nano interaction assessment studies on lipid vesicles.