"Previous techniques simply could not keep up with the image data streaming off of this high speed camera," said
Other researchers had previously discovered that the physical properties of cells could provide useful information about cell health, but previous techniques had been confined to academic research labs because measuring the cells of interest could take hours or even days. The new approach brings imaging flow cytometry closer to being used in a clinical setting.
The Interpolation step resizes the picture up to 200 by 200 pixels. It also generates a higher-contrast image of the cell. Then the Find Center module finds the center of the cell by converting the higher contrast images to binary images. It then counts the pixels with a non-zero value in each row and column of the image. The module averages the data from the two images produced by the Interpolation module to find the cell's center point. Finally, the algorithm determines the cell's shape and morphological properties by finding the darkest pixels on a line from the cell center at each angle of the image, which are considered to be part of the cell's wall.
The researchers then carefully analyzed each step in the algorithm, and made modifications to the algorithm when necessary to implement it efficiently on the FPGA. When mapping to custom hardware, the designer must carefully consider the complexity of the algorithm versus the accuracy of the result. Certain algorithmic features, such as algorithms with larger number of decisions points or those requiring multiple passes over the data, make for a slow and inefficient hardware solution.
They found that they obtained much better results with FPGA than with GPU. That's because FPGAs, unlike GPUs, can be configured so that they match the algorithm exactly. All operations occur at lightning-fast speeds. It takes the system under 500 microseconds to detect a cell and calculate its radius.
Keywords for this news article include: Algorithms,
Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2013, NewsRx LLC
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