This project aims to develop and commercialize significantly improved software for digital enhancement of the detail of chromosome banding patterns in microscopic images. Recently developed wavelet transform and multiresolution image analysis techniques, used with modern computerized chromosome analysis, promise improved enhancement and convenient display of chromosome banding patterns, for more effective visual comparison of chromosomes to normal and abnormal prototypes and to each other. This will help clinicians and researchers detect previously sub-visible band pattern alterations in conventional and high resolution banding. It will significantly increase the ability of automated chromosome analysis instruments to assist the evaluation of chromosome alterations in clinical samples and in normal and neoplastic mammalian cells. It was image enhancement by convolution filtering, coupled with high quality digital image recorders, that made computerized karyotyping first become practical almost a decade ago. Now multiresolution image processing offers considerably more potential than linear filtering for chromosome image enhancement, to make the most of the resolution-limited light microscope image. The recently-developed wavelet transform theory, and our early results, both strongly suggest that these techniques offer much more enhancement potential than conventional convolution. Specifically, we will use the biorthogonal wavelet transform or one of several overcomplete wavelet transforms to enhance chromosome images to bring out the relevant detail in the banding pattern while discriminating against components reflecting preparatory artifact, inter-chromosome variation, and other nongenetic differences. We will develop wavelet transform software that can, under operator control, selectively enhance image detail of different size and orientation, and display the result. We will implement this new capability on PSII's PowerGene commercial automatic karyotyping workstation, both on new systems and as an upgrade to existing units, thereby making it broadly available to the cytogenetics community.
As soon as the analysis is developed and qualified for routine application, it will be incorporated into PSII's PowerGene products, both in new systems sold and as an upgrade to existing systems in the field.