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"The plugin analyzes fluorescence microscopy images of neurites and nuclei of dissociated cultured neurons. Given user-defined thresholds, the plugin counts neuronal nuclei, and traces and measures neurite length."[...]" NeuriteTracer is a fast simple-to-use ImageJ plugin for the analysis of outgrowth in two-dimensional fluorescence microscopy images of neuronal cultures. The plugin performed well on images from three different types of neurons with distinct morphologies."

This plugin requires parameter setting: Threshold levels and scale (see more details on the related publication)


nctuTW is a "high-throughput computer method of reconstructing the neuronal structure of the fruit fly brain. The design philosophy of the proposed method differs from those of previous methods. We propose first to compute the 2D skeletons of a neuron in each slice of the image stack. The 3D neuronal structure is then constructed from the 2D skeletons. Biologists tend to use confocal microscopes for optimal images in a slice for human visualization; and images in two consecutive slices contain overlapped information. Consequently, a spherical object becomes oval in the image stack; that is, neurons in the image stack do not reflect the true shape of the neuron. This is the main reason we chose not to work directly on the 3D volume.

The proposed method comprises two steps. The first is the image processing step, which involves computing a set of voxels that is a superset of the 3D centerlines of the neuron. The shortest path graph algorithm then computes the centerlines. The proposed method was applied to process more than 16 000 neurons. By using a large amount of reconstructions, this study also demonstrated a result derived from the reconstructed data using the clustering technique." (Extracted from reference publication)

Illustrative image shows gold standard (top) and method results (bottom). 


SOAX is an open source software tool to extract the centerlines, junctions and filament lengths of biopolymer networks in 2D and 3D images. It facilitates quantitative, reproducible and objective analysis of the image data. The underlying method of SOAX uses multiple Stretching Open Active Contours (SOACs) that are automatically initialized at image intensity ridges and then stretch along the centerlines of filaments in the network. SOACs can merge, stop at junctions, and reconfigure with others to allow smooth crossing at junctions of filaments.

SOAX provides 3D visualization for exploring image data and visually checking results against the image. Quantitative analysis functions based on extracted networks are also implemented in SOAX, including spatial distribution, orientation, and curvature of filamentous structures. SOAX also provides interactive manual editing to further improve the extraction results, which can be saved in a file for archiving or further analysis. Useful for microtubules or actin filaments.

Observation: Depending on the operating system, the installation may or may not require Boost C++, ITK and VTK libraries. Windows has a standalone executable application without the need of those. 

snapshot microtubules soax

It is a tool to visualize and annotate volume image data of electron microscopy. Users can annotate objects (e.g. neurons) and skeleton structures. It provides the ability to overlaying the image data with user annotations, representing the spatial structure and the connectivity of labeled objects, and displaying a three dimensional model of it. It can be extended by plugins written in python. A similar, web-based implementation is being developed at Example datasets are also available.

Annotation in Knossos