Deep networks with shape priors for nucleus detection

Mohammad Tofighi, Tiantong Guo, Jairam K.P. Vanamala, Vishal Monga

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

14 Scopus citations


Detection of cell nuclei in microscopic images is a challenging research topic, because of limitations in cellular image quality and diversity of nuclear morphology, i.e. varying nuclei shapes, sizes, and overlaps between multiple cell nuclei. This has been a topic of enduring interest with promising recent success shown by deep learning methods. These methods train for example convolutional neural networks (CNNs) with a training set of input images and known, labeled nuclei locations. Many of these methods are supplemented by spatial or morphological processing. We develop a new approach that we call Shape Priors with Convolutional Neural Networks (SP-CNN) to perform significantly enhanced nuclei detection. A set of canonical shapes is prepared with the help of a domain expert. Subsequently, we present a new network structure that can incorporate 'expected behavior' of nucleus shapes via two components: learnable layers that perform the nucleus detection and a fixed processing part that guides the learning with prior information. Analytically, we formulate a new regularization term that is targeted at penalizing false positives while simultaneously encouraging detection inside cell nucleus boundary. Experimental results on a challenging dataset reveal that SP-CNN is competitive with or outperforms several state-of-the-art methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2018 IEEE International Conference on Image Processing, ICIP 2018 - Proceedings
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781479970612
StatePublished - Aug 29 2018
Event25th IEEE International Conference on Image Processing, ICIP 2018 - Athens, Greece
Duration: Oct 7 2018Oct 10 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Image Processing, ICIP
ISSN (Print)1522-4880


Conference25th IEEE International Conference on Image Processing, ICIP 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Signal Processing


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