Apr 10, 2020

DIVA: natural navigation inside 3D images usingvirtual reality

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
M. El BeheiryJean-Baptiste Masson

Abstract

As three-dimensional microscopy becomes commonplace in biological research, there is an increasing need for researchers to be able to view experimental image stacks in a natural three-dimensional viewing context. Through stereoscopy and motion tracking, commercial virtual reality headsets provide a solution to this important visualization challenge by allowing researchers to view volumetric objects in an entirely intuitive fashion. With this motivation, we present DIVA, a user-friendly software tool that automatically creates detailed three-dimensional reconstructions of raw experimental image stacks that are integrated in virtual reality. In DIVA's immersive virtual environment, users can view, manipulate and perform volumetric measurements on their microscopy images as they would to real physical objects. In contrast to similar solutions, our software provides high-quality volume rendering with native TIFF file compatibility. We benchmark the software with diverse image types including those generated by confocal, light-sheet and electron microscopy. DIVA is available at https://diva.pasteur.fr and will be regularly updated.

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