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Measuring Red Blood Cell Velocity with a Keyhole Tracking Algorithm

Reyes-Aldasoro, C. C., Akerman, S. & Tozer, G. M. (2007). Measuring Red Blood Cell Velocity with a Keyhole Tracking Algorithm. In: Jarm, T, Kramar, P & Zupanic, A (Eds.), 11th Mediterranean Conference on Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing 2007, 26-06-2007 - 30-06-2007, Ljubljana, Slovenia. doi: 10.1007/978-3-540-73044-6_210


A tracking algorithm is proposed to measure the velocity of red blood cells traveling through microvessels of tumors growing in skin flaps implanted on mice. The tracking is based on a keyhole model that describes the probable movement of a segmented cell between contiguous frames in a video sequence. When a history of movements exists, past, present and a predicted landing position define two regions of probability with a keyhole shape. This keyhole is used to de- termine if cells in contiguous frames should be linked to form tracks. Pre-processing segments cells from background and post-processing joins tracks and discards links that could have been formed due to noise or uncertainty. The algorithm pre- sents several advantages over traditional methods such as kymographs or particle image velocimetry: manual interven- tion is restricted to the thresholding, several vessels can be analyzed simultaneously, algorithm is robust to noise and a wealth of statistical measures can be obtained. Two tumors with different geometries were analyzed; average velocities were 211±136 [μm/s] (mean±std) with a range 15.9-797 [μm/s], and 89±62 [μm/s] with a range 5.5-300 [μm/s] respec- tively, which are consistent with previous results in the litera- ture.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via
Publisher Keywords: Red Blood Cell Tracking, Blood Velocity
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
School of Science & Technology > Computer Science > giCentre
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