Optimized segmentation and characterization of capillary networks using OCT (Conference Presentation)

Malte Casper, Hinnerk Schulz-Hildebrandt, Michael Evers, Reginald Birngruber, Dieter Manstein, Gereon Hüttmann


The ability to image the physiology of microvasculature with high spatial resolution in three dimensions while investigating structural changes of skin, is essential for understanding the complex processes of skin aging, wound healing and disease development. Further, the quantitative, automatic assessment of these changes enables to analyze large amounts of image data in an abstract but comprehensive manner. However, previous work using OCT with methods of angiography was imaging less scattering, hence more challenging tissue than skin, such as brain and retina tissue. The published methods for capillary segmentation were mostly non-automatic, poorly benchmarked against state-of-the-art methods of computer vision and not applied to investigate medical processes and studies in a comprehensive fashion. Here, segmentation of capillaries in skin is reported and its efficacy is demonstrated in both, a longitudinal mouse study and a preliminary study in humans. By combining state-of-the-art image processing methods in an optimized way, we were able to improve the segmentation results and analyze the impact of each post-processing step. Furthermore, this automatic segmentation enabled us to analyze big amounts of datasets automatically and derive meaningful conclusions for the planning of clinical studies. With this work, optical coherence tomography is combined with methods of computer vision to a diagnostic tool with unique capabilities to characterize vascular diversity and provide extraordinary opportunities for dermatological investigation in both, clinics and research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhotonics in Dermatology and Plastic Surgery 2018
EditorsHaishan Zeng, Bernard Choi
Publication date14.03.2018
ISBN (Print)9781510614192
Publication statusPublished - 14.03.2018
- San Francisco, United States
Duration: 27.01.201801.02.2018

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Biomedical Engineering


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