Til Aach

RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

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Publications (308)168.38 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The organization of the keratin intermediate filament cytoskeleton is closely linked to epithelial function. To study keratin network plasticity and its regulation at different levels, tools are needed to localize and measure local network dynamics. In this paper, we present image analysis methods designed to determine the speed and direction of keratin filament motion and to identify locations of keratin filament polymerization and depolymerization at subcellular resolution. Using these methods, we have analyzed time-lapse fluorescence recordings of fluorescent keratin 13 in human vulva carcinoma-derived A431 cells. The fluorescent keratins integrated into the endogenous keratin cytoskeleton, and thereby served as reliable markers of keratin dynamics. We found that increased times after seeding correlated with down-regulation of inward-directed keratin filament movement. Bulk flow analyses further revealed that keratin filament polymerization in the cell periphery and keratin depolymerization in the more central cytoplasm were both reduced. Treating these cells and other human keratinocyte-derived cells with EGF reversed all these processes within a few minutes, coinciding with increased keratin phosphorylation. These results highlight the value of the newly developed tools for identifying modulators of keratin filament network dynamics and characterizing their mode of action, which, in turn, contributes to understanding the close link between keratin filament network plasticity and epithelial physiology.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2013; DOI:10.1073/pnas.1306020110 · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • Til Aach, Hartmut Fuhr
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    ABSTRACT: The linear periodically shift variant (LPSV) properties within critically sampled multirate FIR filter banks are generally analysed using deterministic signals. Periodic shift variance is, however, closely related to cyclostationarities introduced by the LPSV system into originally wide sense stationary (WSS) random signals passing through the system. We provide first a unified framework to measure both shift variance of the LPSV system and the amount of cyclostationarity it generates. In this respect, the key concept is the covariance operator associated to a random variable. Cyclostationarity of the variable translates to LPSV properties of the operators, and vice versa. We study several related concepts for the quantification of shift variance in operators and their interpretation in the stochastic setting. We then introduce a new concept called expected shift variance. Fourier-analytic expressions for the various measures are given, and subsequently used to derive explicit formulae for the case of critically sampled two-channel filter banks, as well as sharp upper bounds for unitary two-channel filter banks. Numerical evaluations of the measures show that they provide largely consistent rankings between various critically sampled two-channel filter banks.
    IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing 10/2012; 60(10):5125-5134. DOI:10.1109/TSP.2012.2205683 · 3.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Given two CT thorax images from the same patient taken at two different points in time, a detailed follow-up assessment of pleural thickenings and their growth requires a registration of the regarded image regions. While the spatio-temporal matching of thickenings could be achieved by a rigid registration, the direct visual comparison or the combination of thickening segmentations from different points in time require a more precise registration. We present a new method which provides a non-rigid registration of the 3D image data in the region close to the lung surface, where pleural thickenings are located. A B-spline based approach is used to compensate the non-rigid deformations of the lungs. The control-grid for the B-splines is determined using a non-iterative method, which requires matched feature points from the registered image pair. However, current non-rigid registration methods compensate all changes of the lung surface. This is in our case explicitly undesired for changes caused by pleural thickenings. Therefore, our approach takes the thickenings into account by choosing feature points not directly located on the lung surface. The number of feature points is reduced and only strong features are kept for a 3D block matching.
    Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering 02/2012; DOI:10.1117/12.910799 · 0.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: DNA Image Cytometry is a method for non-invasive cancer diagnosis which measures the DNA content of Feulgen-stained nuclei. DNA content is measured using a microscope system equipped with a digital camera as a densitometer and estimating the DNA content from the absorption of light when passing through the nuclei. However, a DNA Image Cytometry measurement is only valid if each nucleus is only measured once. To assist the user in preventing multiple measurements of the same nucleus, we have developed a unique digital identifier for the characterization of Feulgen-stained nuclei, the so called Nucleus Fingerprint. Only nuclei with a new fingerprint can be added to the measurement. This fingerprint is based on basic nucleus features, the contour of the nucleus and the spatial relationship to nuclei in the vicinity. Based on this characterization, a classifier for testing two nuclei for identity is presented. In a pairwise comparison of ~40000 pairs of mutually different nuclei, 99.5% were classified as different. In another 450 tests, the fingerprints of the same nucleus recorded a second time were in all cases judged identical. We therefore conclude that our Nucleus Fingerprint approach robustly prevents the repeated measurement of nuclei in DNA Image Cytometry.
    Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering 02/2012; DOI:10.1117/12.911304 · 0.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed type of cancer in the US. In recent years, however, early diagnosis and treatment have caused a significant rise in the five year survival rate. Preventive screening is often performed by colonoscopy (endoscopic inspection of the colon mucosa). Narrow Band Imaging (NBI) is a novel diagnostic approach highlighting blood vessel structures on polyps which are an indicator for future cancer risk. In this paper, we review our automated inter-and intra-observer independent system for the automated classification of polyps into hyperplasias and adenomas based on vessel structures to further improve the classification performance. To surpass the performance limitations we derive a novel vessel segmentation approach, extract 22 features to describe complex vessel topologies, and apply three feature selection strategies. Tests are conducted on 286 NBI images with diagnostically important and challenging polyps (10mm or smaller) taken from our representative polyp database. Evaluations are based on ground truth data determined by histopathological analysis. Feature selection by Simulated Annealing yields the best result with a prediction accuracy of 96.2% (sensitivity: 97.6%, specificity: 94.2%) using eight features. Future development aims at implementing a demonstrator platform to begin clinical trials at University Hospital Aachen.
    Medical Imaging 2012: Computer-Aided Diagnosis; 02/2012
  • Qi Sun, Alexandra Groth, Til Aach
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, image-based computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations have been proposed to investigate the local hemodynamics inside human cerebral aneurysms. It was suggested that the knowledge of the computed three-dimensional flow fields can be used to assist clinical risk assessment and treatment decision making. Therefore, it was desired to know the reliability of CFD for cerebral blood flow simulation, and be able to provide clinical feedback. However, the validations were not yet comprehensive as they lack either patient-specific boundary conditions (BCs) required for CFD simulations or quantitative comparison methods. In this study, based on a recently proposed in-vitro quantitative CFD evaluation approach via virtual angiography, the CFD evaluation was extended from phantom to patient studies. In contrast to previous work, patient-specific blood flow rates obtained by transcranial color coded Doppler ultrasound measurements were used to impose CFD BCs. Virtual angiograms (VAs) were constructed which resemble clinically acquired angiograms (AAs). Quantitative measures were defined to thoroughly evaluate the correspondence of the detailed flow features between the AAs and the VAs, and thus, the reliability of CFD simulations. The proposed simulation pipeline provided a comprehensive validation method of CFD simulation for reproducing cerebral blood flow, with a focus on the aneurysm region. Six patient cases were tested and close similarities were found in terms of spatial and temporal variations of contrast agent (CA) distribution between AAs and VAs. For patient #1 to #5, discrepancies of less than 11% were found for the relative root mean square errors in time intensity curve comparisons from characteristic vasculature positions. For patient #6, where the CA concentration curve at vessel inlet cannot be directly extracted from the AAs and given as a BC, deviations about 20% were found. As a conclusion, the reliability of the CFD simulations was well confirmed. Besides, it was shown that the accuracy of CFD simulations was closely related to the input BCs.
    Medical Physics 02/2012; 39(2):742-54. DOI:10.1118/1.3675402 · 3.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Early detection of cervical cancer can be achieved through visual analysis of cell anomalies. The established PAP smear achieves a sensitivity of 50-90%, most false negative results are caused by mistakes in the preparation of the specimen or reader variability in the subjective, visual investigation. Since cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), the detection of HPV-infected cells opens new perspectives for screening of precancerous abnormalities. Immunocytochemical preparation marks HPV-positive cells in brush smears of the cervix with high sensitivity and specificity. The goal of this work is the automated detection of all marker-positive cells in microscopic images of a sample slide stained with an immunocytochemical marker. A color separation technique is used to estimate the concentrations of the immunocytochemical marker stain as well as of the counterstain used to color the nuclei. Segmentation methods based on Otsu's threshold selection method and Mean Shift are adapted to the task of segmenting marker-positive cells and their nuclei. The best detection performance of single marker-positive cells was achieved with the adapted thresholding method with a sensitivity of 95.9%. The contours differed by a modified Hausdorff Distance (MHD) of 2.8 μm. Nuclei of single marker positive cells were detected with a sensitivity of 95.9% and MHD = 1.02 μm.
    Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering 02/2012; DOI:10.1117/12.911796 · 0.20 Impact Factor
  • Dorian Schneider, Til Aach
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    ABSTRACT: We develop a methodology for automatic in-line flaw detection in industrial woven fabrics. Where state of the art detection algorithms apply texture analysis methods to operate on low-resolved (~200 ppi) image data, we describe here a process flow to segment single yarns in high-resolved (~1000 ppi) textile images. Four yarn shape features are extracted, allowing a precise detection and measurement of defects. The degree of precision reached allows a classification of detected defects according to their nature, providing an innovation in the field of automatic fabric flaw detection. The design has been carried out to meet real time requirements and face adverse conditions caused by loom vibrations and dirt. The entire process flow is discussed followed by an evaluation using a database with real-life industrial fabric images. This work pertains to the construction of an on-loom defect detection system to be used in manufacturing practice.
    Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering 02/2012; DOI:10.1117/12.907268 · 0.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We propose an optimally oriented flux-based method for the D segmentation of keratin intermediate filaments (KFs) in images acquired using fluorescence confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). KFs are elastic cables forming a complex scaffolding within epithelial cells that is involved in many basic cell functions. Segmentation of KFs to generate a graph representation of the KF network therefore is a key component for analyzing the KFs' dynamic and biomechanical properties. Our segmentation method follows the principle of line enhancement, thresholding and centerline extraction to yield a one-voxel-wide centerline as result. The method is quantitatively evaluated using synthetic data generated by simulating the imaging process in CLSM. It is compared to segmentation results achieved with well-known vesselness measures. The results show that despite limited image quality in CLSM a high degree of precision is achieved.
    Proceedings / IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging: from nano to macro. IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging 01/2012; DOI:10.1109/ISBI.2012.6235510
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    ABSTRACT: Registration of an image non-rigidly to another one causes deformations, which generally do not preserve the initial volume. Volume preservation is however indispensable for observing tumors in medical images. This paper presents the correction of B-spline based registration to preserve the volume in observed regions. In contrast to other approaches, our solution is not obtained through energy minimization, but by calculating the correction parameters for the deformation directly. Especially for high resolution image data this strategy is very efficient in terms of computational expenses. We derive a closed form solution to optimize the registration with respect to the compression at a single point and then extend the problem to multiple points. Finally we prove also that the correction terms do not have any significant influence on the registration quality.
    Image Processing (ICIP), 2012 19th IEEE International Conference on; 01/2012
  • Julie Klein, Til Aach
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    ABSTRACT: Stereo multispectral systems enable at the same time the acquisition of accurate spectral and depth information. The left and right cameras of the system can either present the same spectral sensitivities (e.g., a monochrome sensor with 7 different bandpass color filters sequentially placed in front of it for both cameras) or complementary sensitivities. The latter alternative can be accomplished by the utilization of two different filters or sets of filters for each camera of the stereo system. Even if each camera alone does not provide complete spectral information about the acquired scene, the estimation of the spectra becomes possible when both cameras are considered together. But since the reflectance spectrum of objects is a function of the wavelength, of the illumination angle and of the observation angle, the information from the left and the right cameras is generally different. This problem is already known from the RGB stereo imaging, and becomes even more relevant when it comes to multispectral stereo imaging, whose purpose is in addition an accurate color recording.In this paper, we analyze this problem experimentally by acquiring different series of stereo data and comparing them for determined regions of interest. We acquire two scenes under different lighting conditions with a standard color chart and objects whose reflectance spectra have a limited observation angle dependence. We utilize real multispectral data as well as spectra measured with a spectrophotometer to verify camera acquisition and compare them for different observation angles. We then estimate the acquired spectra using several of the possible spectral compositions, given by all the color channels available for the left and for the right camera. These estimated spectra are compared to the ground truth data and we show that the stereo system with 7 channels cameras using only 3 color channels from one camera and the 4 complementary color channels from the other camera has a good colorimetric accuracy.
    01/2012;
  • Julie Klein, Til Aach
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    ABSTRACT: Aberrations occur in multispectral cameras featuring filter wheels because of color filters with different optical properties being present in the ray path. In order to ensure an exact compensation of these aberrations, a mathematical model of the distortions has to be developed and its parameters have to be calculated using the measured data. Such a model already exists for optical filters placed between the sensor and the lens, but not for bandpass filters placed in front of the lens. For this configuration, the rays are first distorted by the filters and then by the lens. In this paper, we derive a model for aberrations caused by filters placed in front of the lens in multispectral cameras. We compare this model with distortions obtained with simulations as well as with distortions measured during real multispectral acquisitions. In both cases, the difference between modeled and measured aberrations remains low, which corroborates the physical model. Multispectral acquisitions with filters placed between the sensor and the lens or in front of the lens are compared: the latter exhibit smaller distortions and the aberrations in both images can be compensated using the same algorithm.
    Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering 01/2012; DOI:10.1117/12.906341 · 0.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A prototype system for automatic in-line flaw detection in industrial woven fabrics is presented. Where state of the art systems operate on low-resolved (≈ 200 ppi) image data, we describe here the process flow to segment single yarns in high-resolved (≈ 1000 ppi) textile images. This work is partitioned into two parts: First, mechanics, machine integration, vibration cancelling and illumination scenarios are discussed based on the integration into a real loom. Subsequently, the software framework for high precision fabric defect detection is presented. The system is evaluated on a database of 54 industrial fabric images, achieving a detection rate of 100% with minimal false alarm rate and very high defect segmentation quality.
    Industrial Electronics and Applications (ICIEA), 2012 7th IEEE Conference on; 01/2012
  • Wei Li, M. Breier, T. Aach
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    ABSTRACT: Machines for automated PCB depaneling have greatly improved the industrial production efficiency of electronic products. But the preparation for automated depaneling could be very complex and time-consuming. In this paper, we propose a novel systematic solution for this problem. Using a vision-based assistant system, called ”Auto-Teaching”, all connection tabs that should be milled off panels are detected automatically. Highly accurate milling curves are generated with respect to the geometry of the corresponding tabs. Then they could be easily converted into CNC code which drive milling cutters later. Moreover, placement suggestions of supporting pins used to fix panels are obtained. All image analysis functions are implemented in C++ and optimized to meet the minimal hardware and time requirements. Thus the whole process of the preparation is simplified for users and the PCB manufactures can benefit from reduced idle running of machines and labor costs.
    Industrial Informatics (INDIN), 2012 10th IEEE International Conference on; 01/2012
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    ABSTRACT: Fluorescence confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) has revolutionized imaging of subcellular structures in biomedical research by enabling the acquisition of 3D time-series of fluorescently-tagged proteins in living cells, hence forming the basis for an automated quantification of their morphological and dynamic characteristics. Due to the inherently weak fluorescence, CLSM images exhibit a low SNR. We present a novel model for the transfer of signal and noise in CLSM that is both theoretically sound as well as corroborated by a rigorous analysis of the pixel intensity statistics via measurement of the 3D noise power spectra, signal-dependence and distribution. Our model provides a better fit to the data than previously proposed models. Further, it forms the basis for (i) the simulation of the CLSM imaging process indispensable for the quantitative evaluation of CLSM image analysis algorithms, (ii) the application of Poisson denoising algorithms and (iii) the reconstruction of the fluorescence signal.
  • The SNM Annual Meeting, Miami; 01/2012
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies have shown that narrow-band imaging (NBI) is a powerful diagnostic tool for the differentiation between neoplastic and non-neoplastic colorectal polyps. To develop a computer-based method for classification of colorectal polyps. A prospective study. University hospital. A total of 214 patients with colorectal polyps who underwent a zoom NBI colonoscopy. A total of 434 detected polyps 10 mm or smaller were imaged and subsequently removed for histological analysis. Diagnostic performance in polyp classification by 2 experts, 2 nonexperts, and a computer-based algorithm. The expert group and the computer-based algorithm achieved a comparable diagnostic performance (expert group: 93.4% sensitivity, 91.8% specificity, and 92.7% accuracy; computer-based algorithm: 95.0% sensitivity, 90.3% specificity, and 93.1% accuracy) and were both significantly superior to the nonexpert group (86.0% sensitivity, 87.8% specificity, and 86.8% accuracy) in terms of sensitivity, negative predictive value, and accuracy. Subgroup analysis of 255 polyps 5 mm or smaller revealed comparable results without significant differences in the overall analysis of all polyps. No fully automatic classification system. The study demonstrates that computer-based classification of colon polyps can be achieved with high diagnostic performance.
    Gastrointestinal endoscopy 12/2011; 74(6):1354-9. DOI:10.1016/j.gie.2011.08.001 · 4.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In optical imaging systems, the wavelength-dependency of the refraction indices of lenses causes chromatic aberrations: electromagnetic radiation from an object point is dispersed in a rainbow-like manner on the sensor. These aberrations were so far only measured and modeled for up to three, often relatively wideband wavelength bands, such as R, G, and B. Moreover, no relation between the aberrations of these color channels was generally considered. The authors describe here the measurement of chromatic aberrations for multiple narrowband color channels in multispectral imaging. Existing models for transversal distortions are discussed and the wavelengthdependency of their parameters is analyzed. The models are extended with univariate wavelength-dependent polynomials, thus leading to bivariate models for both space and wavelengthdependency. The authors compare the models and confirm their validity qualitatively and quantitatively and simulate aberrations with state-of-the-art raytracing software. With their wavelength-dependent model, the distortions can be compensated even at wavelengths for which no measurements are available.
    Journal of Imaging Science and Technology 10/2011; 55(6):60502-1-60502-14. DOI:10.2352/J.ImagingSci.Technol.2011.55.6.060502 · 0.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Three-dimensional dosimetry based on quantitative SPECT/CT has potential advantages over planar approaches, but may be impractical due to acquisition durations. We combine one SPECT/CT with improved quantification of multiple planar scintigraphies to shorten acquisitions. A hybrid 2-D/3-D quantification technique is proposed, using SPECT/CT information for robust planar image quantification and creating virtual SPECTs out of conjugate-view planar scintigraphies; these are included in a 3-D absorbed dose calculation. A projection model simulates photon attenuation and scatter as well as camera and collimator effects. Planar and SPECT calibration techniques are described, offering multiple pathways of deriving calibration factors for hybrid quantification. Model, phantom and patient data are used to validate the approach on a per-organ basis, and the similarity of real and virtual SPECTs, and of planar images and virtual SPECT projections, is assessed using linear regression analysis. Organ overlap, background activity and organ geometry are accounted for in the algorithm. Hybrid time-activity curves yield the same information as those derived from a conventional SPECT evaluation. Where correct values are known, hybrid quantification errors are less than 16% for all but two compartments (SPECT/CT 23%). Under partial volume effects, hybrid quantification can provide more robust results than SPECT/CT. The mean correlation coefficient of 3-D data is 0.962 (2-D 0.934). As a consequence of good activity quantification performance, good agreement of absorbed dose estimates and dose-volume histograms with reference results is achieved. The proposed activity quantification method for 2-D scintigraphies can speed up SPECT/CT-based 3-D dosimetry without losing accuracy.
    European Journal of Nuclear Medicine 09/2011; 38(12):2173-85. DOI:10.1007/s00259-011-1889-7 · 4.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In minimal invasive surgery (MIS) a complete and seamless inspection of organs, e.g. the urinary bladder, using video endoscopes is often required for diagnostics. Since the endoscope is usually guided by free-hand, it is difficult to ensure a sequence of seamless frame transitions. Also 2-D panoramic images showing an extended field of view (FOV) do not provide always reliable results, since their interpretations are limited by potentially strong geometric distortions. To overcome these limitations and provide a direct verification method, we develop a gap detection algorithm using graphs. Exploiting the motion information of the applied zig-zag scan, we construct a graph representation of the video sequence. Without any explicit global image visualization our graph search algorithm identifies reliably frame discontinuities, which would lead to holes and slit artifacts in a panoramic view. The algorithm shows high detection rates and provides a fast method to verify frame discontinuities in the whole video sequence. Missed regions are highlighted by local image compositions which can be displayed during the intervention for assistance and inspection control.
    Conference proceedings: ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference 08/2011; 2011:6635-8. DOI:10.1109/IEMBS.2011.6091636

Publication Stats

2k Citations
168.38 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1–2012
    • RWTH Aachen University
      • Institute for Molecular and Cellular Anatomy
      Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2011
    • University Hospital RWTH Aachen
      Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2010
    • University of Nottingham
      • School of Computer Science
      Nottigham, England, United Kingdom
  • 2009
    • Philips
      Eindhoven, North Brabant, Netherlands
  • 1999–2008
    • Universität zu Lübeck
      • • Institut für Signalverarbeitung
      • • Institut für Neuro-/Bioinformatik
      Lübeck Hansestadt, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
  • 2007
    • San Diego Zoo
      San Diego, California, United States
    • Fachhochschule Aachen
      Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2006
    • Freie Universität Berlin
      Berlín, Berlin, Germany
  • 2004
    • University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein
      Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
    • Signal Processing Inc.
      Maryland, United States
  • 2003
    • Cologne University of Applied Sciences
      Köln, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany