Virtual reality framework for editing and exploring medial axis representations of nanometric scale neural structures

Daniya Boges, Marco Agus, Ronell Sicat, Pierre J. Magistretti, Markus Hadwiger, Corrado Cali
Computers & Graphics, Volume 91, page 12--24 - 2020
We present a novel virtual reality (VR) based framework for the exploratory analysis of nanoscale 3D reconstructions of cellular structures acquired from rodent brain samples through serial electron microscopy. The system is specifically targeted on medial axis representations (skeletons) of branched and tubular structures of cellular shapes, and it is designed for providing to domain scientists: i) effective and fast semi-automatic interfaces for tracing skeletons directly on surface-based representations of cells and structures, ii) fast tools for proofreading, i.e., correcting and editing of semi-automatically constructed skeleton representations, and iii) natural methods for interactive exploration, i.e., measuring, comparing, and analyzing geometric features related to cellular structures based on medial axis representations. Neuroscientists currently use the system for performing morphology studies on sparse reconstructions of glial cells and neurons extracted from a sample of the somatosensory cortex of a juvenile rat. The framework runs in a standard PC and has been tested on two different display and interaction setups: PC-tethered stereoscopic head-mounted display (HMD) with 3D controllers and tracking sensors, and a large display wall with a standard gamepad controller. We report on a user study that we carried out for analyzing user performance on different tasks using these two setups.

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BibTex references

  author       = {Boges, D. and Agus, M. and Sicat, R. and Magistretti, P. and Hadwiger, M. and Cali, C.},
  title        = {Virtual reality framework for editing and exploring medial axis representations of nanometric scale neural structures},
  journal      = {Computers \& Graphics},
  volume       = {91},
  pages        = {12--24},
  year         = {2020},
  keywords     = {Virtual reality, cellular structures 3D reconstructions, medial axis representations editing and exploring},
  issn         = {0097-8493},
  doi          = {10.1016/j.cag.2020.05.024},
  url          = {},

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» Daniya Boges
» Marco Agus
» Pierre J. Magistretti
» Markus Hadwiger
» Corrado Cali