Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

Document Type



Glaucoma, commonly observed with an elevation in the intraocular pressure level (IOP), is one of the leading causes of blindness. The lamina cribrosa is a mesh-like structure that provides axonal support for the optic nerves leaving the eye. The changes in the laminar structure under IOP elevations may result in the deaths of retinal ganglion cells, leading to vision degradation and loss. We have developed a comprehensive computational framework that can assist the study of structural changes in microscopic structures such as lamina cribrosa. The optical sectioning property of a confocal microscope facilitates imaging thick microscopic specimen at various depths without physical sectioning. The confocal microscope images are referred to as optical sections. The computational framework developed includes: 1) a multi-threaded system architecture for tracking a volume-of-interest within a microscopic specimen in a parallel computation environment using a reliable-multicast for collective-communication operations 2) a Karhunen-Loève (KL) expansion based adaptive noise prefilter for the restoration of the optical sections using an inverse restoration method 3) a morphological operator based ringing metric to quantify the ringing artifacts introduced during iterative restoration of optical sections 4) a l2 norm based error metric to evaluate the performance of optical flow algorithms without a priori knowledge of the true motion field and 5) a Compute-and-Propagate (CNP) framework for iterative optical flow algorithms. The realtime tracking architecture can convert a 2D-confocal microscope into a 4D-confocal microscope with tracking. The adaptive KL filter is suitable for realtime restoration of optical sections. The CNP framework significantly improves the speed and convergence of the iterative optical flow algorithms. Also, the CNP framework can reduce the errors in the motion field estimates due to the aperture problem. The performance of the proposed framework is demonstrated on real-life image sequences and on z-Stack datasets of random cotton fibers and lamina cribrosa of a cow retina with an experimentally induced glaucoma. The proposed framework can be used for routine laboratory and clinical investigation of microstructures such as cells and tissues, for the evaluation of complex structures such as cornea and has potential use as a surgical guidance tool.



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Committee Chair

S. Sitharama Iyengar