For many centuries, it has been a natural human endeavor to find out how the
basic building block of everything living – the cell – looks like and works.
Computers have been providing significant help in this effort for several
decades. The basic tool for the observation of cells and their life is an
optical microscope. Computers help with finding objects of interest, keeping
them within field of view, focusing, or optical aberration correction. Computers
further carry on-line as well as off-line analysis of this image data starting
from image restoration through object segmentation up to classification tasks.
Finally, computers are used to create sophisticated cell models (digital
phantoms of cells) covering not only the 3D structure but also the dynamics and
possibly interaction of cells with their surroundings. Models are important not
only for biological research but also for clinical purposes, by comparing models
of healthy cells or tissues with cancerous ones, and for generation of synthetic
images for algorithm testing.
The lecture will present a historical overview in this field, our own results
and especially contributions to the introduction of standards (benchmarks) for
the comparison of available cell image analysis algorithms. Finally, we will
present a vision of integration of available partial knowledge into a credible
global model of cell morphology and behavior.