In the last decade, high-resolution computed tomography (CT) and microcomputed tomography (micro-CT) have been increasingly used in anthropological studies and as a complement to traditional histological techniques. This is due in large part to the ability of CT techniques to nondestructively extract three-dimensional representations of bone structures. Despite prior studies employing CT techniques, no completely reliable method of bone segmentation has been established.
Accurate preprocessing of digital data is crucial for measurement accuracy, especially when subtle structures such as trabecular bone are investigated. The technology presented here is a new, reproducible, accurate, and fully automated computerized segmentation method for high-resolution CT datasets of fossil and recent cancellous bone: the Ray Casting Algorithm (RCA).
Compared to methods of image thresholding (i.e., the half-maximum height protocol and the automatic, adaptive iterative thresholding procedure), the RCA method is robust regarding the signal to noise ratio, beam hardening, ring artifacts, and blurriness. Tests with data of extant and fossil material demonstrate the exceptional quality of RCA compared with conventional thresholding procedures (see Figure from reference).
Intellectual Property Information
The algorithm and related software is available under a copyright and KnowHow agreement.
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