is a complex and highly advanced Matlab software solution developed to assist scientists in simulating biological growth in plants and other 3D living surfaces.
The acronym in its name stands for Growth Factor Toolbox, as it models the growth of leaves, petals or whole flowers through the specified substance distribution of morphogens (or growth factors) over the surface of the targeted object; the growth point is thus determined by the concentration of these substances in certain areas of a leaf, for instance.
GFtbox is aimed at two main types of research areas: computational biology and algorithms. The former deals with growing plants of a given set of gene expression, viewing 3D volume images (microscopy) and analyzing various shapes, including not only leaves or flowers, but also faces.
The latter area, dealing with algorithms, allows users to apply MSER, extrema, connected-set filters and sieves, as well as execute applications of nonlinear filter banks, or study the art of light and shade, in paintings in particular; reaction-diffusion and morphogenesis can also be studied.
Subsequent to its installation in Matlab, GFtbox can be accessed via a dedicated window, enabling users to create a new mesh, as well as edit existing files, with the help of the ‘Mesh Editor’ panel. This allows users to customize aspects pertaining to radius, rings, Z shape, flip orientation and other related features.
When creating a new leaf, for instance, users have the option of choosing from a variety of predefined shapes. Adding an existing leaf into GFtbox requires users to use the ‘Load’ button at the top, browsing through their system and opening the targeted project.
Evidently, the software is intended for individuals with a highly advanced level of knowledge in the field of biology, as well as experience in working with Matlab. However, the extensive documentation that GFtbox comes with can help users understand how to best work with it.