An image analysis method for decomposing 3D objects using a combination
of grey-level and shape is presented. The method consists of two major p
arts: seeding based on grey-level information and growth from the seeds
based on shape information. The growth is performed in two steps in orde
r to prevent seeds located in peripheral or protruding parts of the obje
ct from growing into other parts. The method was developed to decompose
3D reconstructions of proteins into their structural subunits. The prote
ins are imaged with SET (Sidec Electron Tomography) at a resolution of a
pproximately 2nm, and delineated from the background by thresholding pri
or to application of our decomposition method. Decomposition can be a us
eful tool in the second step of the segmentation process to help disting
uish between true protein molecules and other objects. It can also be us
eful for analyzing and visualizing interactions between proteins.
2004. 800-803 p.