Molecular Image Processing from Cell to Organism: An Integrative Approach

Molecular imaging studies typically involve data from multiple imaging modalities, covering a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Differences in imaging geometry, subject posture, and information content occur between modalities, but also between time points in follow-up studies using the same modality. The lack of automated techniques to interrelate imaging data and to keep track of dynamic phenomena occuring in these data is rapidly becoming the bottleneck for effective data interpretation. Without such techniques, the complementarity of the different imaging modalities cannot be fully exploited.
The goal of this collaborative project is: To develop innovative automated techniques for the integrative processing and analysis of multimodal in-vivo molecular imaging data from the organism down to the cell. To achieve this goal, novel technology will be developed to address the following three problems:
1. Whole-body motion registration and correction.
2. Detection and tracking for cell motion analysis.
3. Multimodal image integration, quantification, and visualization.

The project is a trilateral collaboration between image processing research groups at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), Erasmus MC (EMC), and Delft University of Technology (DUT), each having active research lines dedicated to different aspects of molecular imaging. Together they possess the necessary complementary expertise to address the stated technological challenges: image registration and fused visualization in medical imaging (LUMC, DUT), tracking and motion analysis in bioimaging (EMC), optical microscopy and image analysis (EMC, DUT). All groups have close collaborations with renowned researchers in radiology and biology. This offers a unique opportunity to integrate the biological, medical, and technological expertise present at the respective institutes.

 Project leader:
- Dr. ir. E. Meijering Biomedical Imaging Group Rotterdam Erasmus MC – University Medical Center Rotterdam http://www.bigr.nl/
- Dr. ir. B. P. F. Lelieveldt Division of Image Processing Leiden University Medical Center  http://www.lumc.nl/rep/cod/redirect/1010/lkebhome/lkebhome.html

Scientists:
- Prof. dr. ir. J. H. C. Reiber Division of Image Processing Leiden University Medical Center
- Dr. ir. J. Dijkstra Division of Image Processing Leiden University Medical Center
- Prof. dr. W. J. Niessen Biomedical Imaging Group Rotterdam Erasmus MC – University Medical Center Rotterdam  
- Dr. Ch. P. Botha Department of Mediamatics Delft University of Technology
- Prof. dr. C. W. G. M. Löwik Department of Endocrinology Leiden University Medical Center
- Dr. M. Bernsen Department of Radiology Erasmus MC – University Medical Center Rotterdam
- Artem Khmelinskii, MSc Division of Image Processing Leiden University Medical Center
- Esben Plenge, MSc Biomedical Imaging Group Rotterdam Erasmus MC – University Medical Center Rotterdam