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Research Abstracts Online
January - December 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Science and Engineering
Department of Computer Science and Engineering

PI: John V. Carlis

Volume Reconstruction of HIV-Infected Lymph Nodes

These researchers are working to better understand the effects of HIV on the distribution of lymph node tissue using scientific visualization techniques. HIV infection triggers abnormal deposition of collagen inside the lymph node. Recent research by Timothy Schacker (Department of Medicine–Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine) indicates that these collagen deposits may be a key mechanism by which HIV interferes with the host’s immune system, as collagen prevents the lymph node from functioning normally. Shacker’s research program relies on high-resolution photomicrograms of dyed lymph node slices, but comparing dozens of slices to identify variations in collagen deposition is difficult even for experts. This project uses the group’s two-dimensional slices, along with customized image processing, interpolation, and rendering algorithms, to reconstruct complete volumetric lymph node models. These interactive, three-dimensional models provide investigators with a method far superior to static images for understanding the process of lymph node collagen deposition.

Group Members

Daniel J. Feldman, Graduate Student
Susan Van Riper, Undergraduate Student
Ming Zeng, Graduate Student