Observatorio de I+D+i UPM

Memorias de investigación
Computational methods to create and analyze a digital gene expression atlas of embryo development from microscopy images
Research Areas
  • Engineering,
  • Electronic technology and of the communications
The creation of atlases, or digital models where information from different subjects can be combined, is a field of increasing interest in biomedical imaging. When a single image does not contain enough information to appropriately describe the organism under study, it is then necessary to acquire images of several individuals, each of them containing complementary data with respect to the rest of the components in the cohort. This approach allows creating digital prototypes, ranging from anatomical atlases of human patients and organs, obtained for instance from Magnetic Resonance Imaging, to gene expression cartographies of embryo development, typically achieved from Light Microscopy. Within such context, in this PhD Thesis we propose, develop and validate new dedicated image processing methodologies that, based on image registration techniques, bring information from multiple individuals into alignment within a single digital atlas model. We also elaborate a dedicated software visualization platform to explore the resulting wealth of multi-dimensional data and novel analysis algo-rithms to automatically mine the generated resource in search of bio¬logical insights. In particular, this work focuses on gene expression data from developing zebrafish embryos imaged at the cellular resolution level with Two-Photon Laser Scanning Microscopy. Disposing of quantitative measurements relating multiple gene expressions to cell position and their evolution in time is a fundamental prerequisite to understand embryogenesis multi-scale processes. However, the number of gene expressions that can be simultaneously stained in one acquisition is limited due to optical and labeling constraints. These limitations motivate the implementation of atlasing strategies that can recreate a virtual gene expression multiplex. The developed computational tools have been tested in two different scenarios. The first one is the early zebrafish embryogenesis where the resulting atlas constitutes a link between the phenotype and the genotype at the cellular level. The second one is the late zebrafish brain where the resulting atlas allows studies relating gene expression to brain regionalization and neurogenesis. The proposed computational frameworks have been adapted to the requirements of both scenarios, such as the integration of partial views of the embryo into a whole embryo model with cellular resolution or the registration of anatom¬ical traits with deformable transformation models non-dependent on any specific labeling. The software implementation of the atlas generation tool (Match-IT) and the visualization platform (Atlas-IT) together with the gene expression atlas resources developed in this Thesis are to be made freely available to the scientific community. Lastly, a novel proof-of-concept experiment integrates for the first time 3D gene expression atlas resources with cell lineages extracted from live embryos, opening up the door to correlate genetic and cellular spatio-temporal dynamics. La creación de atlas, o modelos digitales, donde la información de distintos sujetos puede ser combinada, es un campo de creciente interés en imagen biomédica. Cuando una sola imagen no contiene suficientes datos como para describir apropiadamente el organismo objeto de estudio, se hace necesario adquirir imágenes de varios individuos, cada una de las cuales contiene información complementaria respecto al resto de componentes del grupo. De este modo, es posible crear prototipos digitales, que pueden ir desde atlas anatómicos de órganos y pacientes humanos, adquiridos por ejemplo mediante Resonancia Magnética, hasta cartografías de la expresión genética del desarrollo de embrionario, típicamente adquiridas mediante Microscopía Optica. Dentro de este contexto, en esta Tesis Doctoral se introducen, desarrollan y validan nuevos métodos de procesado de imagen que, basándose en técnicas de registro de imagen, son capaces de alinear imágenes y datos provenien
Mark Rating
Sobresaliente cum laude
  • Autor: Carlos Castro Gonzalez (UPM)
  • Director: Maria Jesus Ledesma Carbayo (UPM)
  • Director: Miguel Angel Luengo Oroz (UPM)
Research Group, Departaments and Institutes related
  • Creador: Grupo de Investigación: Tecnología de imágenes biomédicas
  • Centro o Instituto I+D+i: Centro de tecnología Biomédica CTB
  • Departamento: Ingeniería Electrónica
S2i 2020 Observatorio de investigación @ UPM con la colaboración del Consejo Social UPM
Cofinanciación del MINECO en el marco del Programa INNCIDE 2011 (OTR-2011-0236)
Cofinanciación del MINECO en el marco del Programa INNPACTO (IPT-020000-2010-22)