University of Twente Student Theses


Assessment of the contractile properties of engineered heart tissues by optical flow

Tafuro, M. (2021) Assessment of the contractile properties of engineered heart tissues by optical flow.

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Abstract:Due to their physiological and behavioral resemblance to in-vivo cardiac muscles, Engineered Heart Tissues (EHTs) are a promising tool for cardiovascular drug discovery, cell therapy and disease modeling. The beating pattern of EHTs is a direct indicator of their health and function, hence various techniques have been devised to gauge their contractile behavior; nevertheless, the established methods rely on invasive, expensive and delicate procedures. This thesis presents a novel workflow for the extraction, characterization and assessment of the contractile properties of EHTs that relies on motion estimation by optical flow (OF) and is purely based on bright-field images. It returns information in the form of (1) motion maps, (2) contraction profiles and (3) Histogram of Oriented Optical Flow, then classifies the tissue as correctly- or incorrectly-behaving according to the extracted characteristics of motion. Additionally, this paper tests the proposed method with three OF algorithms (block-matching, FlowNet2 and Farnebäck) and compares their performance on the given dataset: block-matching was found unsuitable for this study; FlowNet2 was only capable of analyzing tissues undergoing significant displacement while Farnebäck was configured with an iterative refinement to reach notable versatility and robustness. The iterative Farnebäck algorithm resulted in a classification accuracy of 88.8%, proving the applicability and potential of OF for the assessment of EHTs’ contractile properties.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:TNW: Science and Technology
Subject:42 biology, 44 medicine, 54 computer science
Programme:Advanced Technology BSc (50002)
Awards:Cum Laude
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