Registration of Image Modalities for Analyses of Tissue Samples Using 3D Image Modelling

Juliane Hermann, Kai Brehmer, Vera Jankowski, Michaela Lellig, Mathias Hohl, Felix Mahfoud, Timotheus Speer, Stefan J. Schunk, Thomas Tschernig, Herbert Thiele, Joachim Jankowski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose Biopsies are a diagnostic tool for the diagnosis of histopathological, molecular biological, proteomic, and imaging data, to narrow down disease patterns or identify diseases. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI MSI) provides an emerging state-of-the-art technique for molecular imaging of biological tissue. The aim of this study is the registration of MALDI MSI data sets and data acquired from different histological stainings to create a 3D model of biopsies and whole organs.

Experimental design The registration of the image modalities is achieved by using a variant of the authors' global, deformable Schatten-q-Norm registration approach. Utilizing a connected-component segmentation for background removal followed by a principal-axis based linear pre-registration, the images are adjusted into a homogeneous alignment. This registration approach is accompanied by the 3D reconstruction of histological and MALDI MSI data.

Results With this, a system of automatic registration for cross-process evaluation, as well as for creating 3D models, is developed and established. The registration of MALDI MSI data with different histological image data is evaluated by using the established global image registration system.

Conclusions and clinical relevance In conclusion, this multimodal image approach offers the possibility of molecular analyses of tissue specimens in clinical research and diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1900143
Number of pages16
JournalProteomics Clinical Applications
Issue number1
Early online date23 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • 3D model
  • matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI MSI)
  • multimodal imaging
  • registration


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