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In BioData mining

BACKGROUND : Microscopic imaging is a crucial technology for visualizing neural and tissue structures. Large-area defects inevitably occur during the imaging process of electron microscope (EM) serial slices, which lead to reduced registration and semantic segmentation, and affect the accuracy of 3D reconstruction. The continuity of biological tissue among serial EM images makes it possible to recover missing tissues utilizing inter-slice interpolation. However, large deformation, noise, and blur among EM images remain the task challenging. Existing flow-based and kernel-based methods have to perform frame interpolation on images with little noise and low blur. They also cannot effectively deal with large deformations on EM images.

RESULTS : In this paper, we propose a sparse self-attention aggregation network to synthesize pixels following the continuity of biological tissue. First, we develop an attention-aware layer for consecutive EM images interpolation that implicitly adopts global perceptual deformation. Second, we present an adaptive style-balance loss taking the style differences of serial EM images such as blur and noise into consideration. Guided by the attention-aware module, adaptively synthesizing each pixel aggregated from the global domain further improves the performance of pixel synthesis. Quantitative and qualitative experiments show that the proposed method is superior to the state-of-the-art approaches.

CONCLUSIONS : The proposed method can be considered as an effective strategy to model the relationship between each pixel and other pixels from the global domain. This approach improves the algorithm's robustness to noise and large deformation, and can accurately predict the effective information of the missing region, which will greatly promote the data analysis of neurobiological research.

Wang Zejin, Liu Jing, Chen Xi, Li Guoqing, Han Hua


Adaptive style-balance loss, Biological tissue recovery, EM images, Slice interpolation, Sparse self-attention network