Optical analysis of microscope images

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Biles, Jonathan R.
Oregon Health & Science University
Image processing; Optical pattern recognition
thesis / dissertation description
Microscope images were analyzed with coherent and incoherent light using analog optical techniques. These techniques were found to be useful for analyzing large numbers of nonsymbolic, statistical microscope images. In the first part phase coherent transparencies having 20-100 human multiple myeloma nuclei were simultaneously photographed at 100 power magnification using high resolution holographic film developed to high contrast. An optical transform was obtained by focusing the laser onto each nuclear image and allowing the diffracted light to propagate onto a one dimensional photosensor array. This method reduced the data to the position of the first two intensity minima and the intensity of successive maxima. These values were utilized to estimate the four most important cancer detection clues of nuclear size, shape, darkness, and chromatin texture. In the second part, the geometric and holographic methods of phase incoherent optical processing were investigated for pattern recognition of real-time, diffuse microscope images. The theory and implementation of these processors was discussed in view of their mutual problems of dimness, image bias, and detector resolution. The dimness problem was solved by either using a holographic correlator or a speckle free laser microscope. The latter was built using a spinning tilted mirror which caused the speckle to change so quickly that it averaged out during the exposure. To solve the bias problem low image bias templates were generated by four techniques: microphotography of samples, creation of typical shapes by computer graphics editor, transmission holography of photoplates of samples, and by spatially coherent color image bias removal. The first of these templates was used to perform correlations with bacteria images. The aperture bias was successfully removed from the correlation with a video frame subtractor. To overcome the limited detector resolution it is necessary to discover some analog nonlinear intensity peak detector which would allow one sampling point to determine if the correlation intensity was high anywhere in the correlation output. Three specific medical uses for the intensity correlators are detailed.