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Condens. Matter 2018, 3(4), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat3040048

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

1
IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia, Via Ardeatina 306/354, 00179 Roma, Italy
2
Centro Fermi-Museo Storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche “Enrico Fermi”, Piazza del Viminale 1, 00184 Roma, Italy
3
URPhyM-NARILIS, Université de Namur, Rue de Bruxelles 61, B-5000 Namur, Belgium
4
Institute of Nanotechnology-CNR c/o Physics Department at ‘Sapienza’ University, Piazzale Aldo Moro 2, 00185 Rome, Italy
5
P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninskii pr., 53 Moscow, Russia
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 July 2018 / Revised: 3 December 2018 / Accepted: 7 December 2018 / Published: 11 December 2018
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: fractal dimension; high-resolution X-Ray phase contrast micro tomography; ex vivo mouse spinal cord fractal dimension; high-resolution X-Ray phase contrast micro tomography; ex vivo mouse spinal cord
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Maugeri, L.; DiNuzzo, M.; Moraschi, M.; Nicaise, C.; Bukreeva, I.; Mangini, F.; Giove, F.; Cedola, A.; Fratini, M. Fractal Dimension Analysis of High-Resolution X-Ray Phase Contrast Micro-Tomography Images at Different Threshold Levels in a Mouse Spinal Cord. Condens. Matter 2018, 3, 48.

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