Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Electrical and Biomedical Engineering

Thesis Type

Honors College

First Advisor

Dr. Jason H.T. Bates

Second Advisor

Dylan T. Casey

Third Advisor

Dr. Vitor Mori


Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, fractal analysis, box-counting method, fractal dimension


The characterization of lung tissue architecture in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) can provide useful insights into disease presentation and progression. In this study, we propose a novel three-dimensional (3D) fractal analysis to quantify the behavior of lung tissue in both healthy and bleomycin (BLM)-induced fibrotic mouse models. The fractal dimension (FD), which is a statistical index of complexity, was calculated for each voxel in reconstructed micro-CT images of the lung samples. These values were plotted on a kernel density estimation (KDE) plot, generating a distribution of FDs for each sample. Results indicate a slight but not statistically significant difference in average FD between the control and BLM samples. Tissue densities between the two groups were also compared in Hounsfield units (HU), a radiodensity scale, revealing elevated collagen concentrations and peripheral fibrosis in the BLM groups, consistent with IPF. Due to our small sample size of only 9 mouse lungs, further conclusions about the structural differences between healthy and fibrotic lungs are impaired. However, the results suggest disparities in the organization and/or collagen density between groups. Therefore, further assessments encompassing density features into the FD may prove to be an effective mode for differentiating and/or describing healthy and IPF lungs.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.