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A novel signal processing-oriented approach to solving problems involving inverse Laplacians is introduced. The Monogenic Signal is a powerful method of computing the phase of discrete signals in image data, however it is typically used with band-pass filters in the capacity of a feature detector. Substituting low-pass filters allows the Monogenic Signal to produce approximate solutions to the inverse Laplacian, with the added benefit of tunability and the generation of three equivariant properties (namely local energy, local phase and local orientation), which allow the development of powerful numerical solutions for a new set of problems. These principles are applied here in the context of biological cell segmentation from brightfield microscopy image data. The Monogenic Signal approach is used to generate reduced noise solutions to the Transport of Intensity Equation for optical phase recovery, and the resulting local phase and local orientation terms are combined in an iterative level set approach to accurately segment cell boundaries. Potential applications of this approach are discussed with respect to other fields. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Mathematical Imaging and Vision

Publication Date





156 - 165