Possum—A Framework for Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of Brain Images from Serial Sections

Piotr Majka, Daniel K. Wójcik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Techniques based on imaging serial sections of brain tissue provide insight into brain structure and function. However, to compare or combine them with results from three dimensional imaging methods, reconstruction into a volumetric form is required. Currently, there are no tools for performing such a task in a streamlined way. Here we propose the Possum volumetric reconstruction framework which provides a selection of 2D to 3D image reconstruction routines allowing one to build workflows tailored to one’s specific requirements. The main components include routines for reconstruction with or without using external reference and solutions for typical issues encountered during the reconstruction process, such as propagation of the registration errors due to distorted sections. We validate the implementation using synthetic datasets and actual experimental imaging data derived from publicly available resources. We also evaluate efficiency of a subset of the algorithms implemented. The Possum framework is distributed under MIT license and it provides researchers with a possibility of building reconstruction workflows from existing components, without the need for low-level implementation. As a consequence, it also facilitates sharing and data exchange between researchers and laboratories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-278
Number of pages14
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • 3D reconstruction
  • Brain atlas
  • Histology
  • Image analysis
  • Image registration
  • Light microscopy

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