Cell contour extraction on multi-threshold images

J. Barba, Li Yuan, J. Gil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A procedure for the extraction of cell and nuclear contours from digital images is presented. The procedure is simple and suitable for efficient implementation in an interactive environment where the user selects a region of interest containing the cell to be segmented. Segmentation is facilitated by multi-thresholding where the threshold values are determined by an iterative algorithm using the mean square error criteria to cluster the image pixel values. Edges are detected on the threshold images by employing a binary morphological filter and the desired contours are selected by considering closed contours in the edge image. The cell region is first extracted by performing segmentation, edge detection and contour extraction on the region of interest. The nuclear region is subsequently extracted by reapplication of the algorithms within the extracted cell region. Segmentation examples are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-453
Number of pages5
JournalPathology Research and Practice
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Contour extraction
  • Multi-thresholding
  • Segmentation


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