Novel bioimaging techniques generate enormous amounts of data and making them accessible to the research community is becoming an increasingly complex task. The problem is becoming even more acute with the now widespread expectation for open access reposition of data required by research councils and journals. An even bigger challenge is data visualisation, which requires specialist skills and expensive software, unlikely to be available to those who did not perform the original research.
The Laser Analytics Group is at the forefront of developing modern imaging tools for bioresearch, and techniques such as SPIM and SIM can generate terabytes of volumetric imaging data in a single day. In a new paper published in Nature Photonics, we present a new tool for sharing such data with researchers across the world. The tool is called FP Bioimage and presents a completely novel way for data sharing, even more excitingly, permits the viewer to interactively explore the dataset without requirement for specialist skills or software.
Volumetric data to be shared is simply deposited on a local server, and can then be remotely accessed from anywhere using a standard web browser. The tool permits interactive rotation, zooming, and rendering options, and is extremely fast and responsive to use. The software uses ray marching techniques and graphics engines now present in modern web browsers to give a first person perspective of imaging data, giving an immersive experience and a fuller understanding of the data than would otherwise be possible.
Optionally the method can be used in a VR mode, using mobile phones and or a VR goggle set.
For examples and videos of the capabilities of the programme, see here:
If you have cool 3D volumetric data you want us to host - send an email to Marcus Fantham email@example.com.