Three-Dimensional Data

Powerful computers and image acquisition devices have made it possible to capture serial sets of data through three dimensional objects and store these digitally as voxels (cubic pixels). These three dimensional data sets can then be thresholded, processed and rendered much like two dimensional data sets. However, since voxels add another dimension to the data, the amount of information to be processed is a thousand times greater than for two dimensional objects. If the size of the voxel is calibrated, all parameters of the data and the object it represents can be calculated. For three dimensional data sets of corrosion-casted vascular systems, the surface area (representing the inside surface of the vessel) and the volume (representing the volume of blood space within the vessels) can be calculated. The vessel models can also be subjected to skeletonization (a median axis transform which erodes away all voxels except the central voxel). The skeleton represents the topology and original shape of the cast and the interior geometry of the cast normally hidden from view can also be seen. The total length, number of segments and branching points can also be calculated from the skeleton.