Virtual microscopy system for pathology

Wednesday, 09 January, 2008 | Supplied by: Olympus Australia Pty Ltd

Olympus has updated its dotSlide digital virtual microscopy system which scans entire slides at high resolution and fidelity, making them accessible and fully navigable anywhere on the globe.

The three available models (dotSlide MD, manual version; dotSlide SL, fully automated version with slide loader; and dotSlide TMA, with tissue microarray module) enable users to examine the virtual slide as if they were viewing the original on a microscope. The dotSlide system is suitable for all aspects of pathology and research. It also enables quicker second opinions and remote consults, as well as consistent training and discussion.

The technology also ensures that the dotSlide range provides high throughput and high content capabilities for both pathology and research applications.

The components of all three dotSlide systems have been selected to offer speed, precision and reliability, whatever the requirements. All dotSlide models use the Olympus BX51 microscope, which offers high optical performance. With the standard system, dotSlide MD, slides and meta-data are loaded manually and the virtual file created automatically based on the user's preferences. With the dotSlide SL, slides are automatically loaded from the slide loader which holds up to 50 slides in five trays. The system always knows the exact position of each slide within the trays. A robotic arm places the slides onto the stage holder and the integrated bar code scanner ensures that any bar coded meta-data are automatically loaded and linked with the resultant virtual image.

As well as being fluorescence-compatible, the dotSlide can be used for tissue microarrays (TMAs) via a specific TMA model. With TMAs, researchers are able to prepare and stain thousands of different tissue samples under the same conditions and analyse them at once.

The dotSlide workstation and server system are equipped for speed, security and performance and enable fully controllable remote access. Data and associated meta-data are saved in a bespoke data management system meaning that slides can be scanned in one location and reviewed almost instantaneously in another, anywhere on the globe, by users via a web browser. For more advanced functionality the specialised OlyVia software enables pathologists to review and comment on the virtual slide with the additional benefit of being able to add annotations, markers and files (including dictations), which are directly linked to the slide.

The peltier-cooled, 1276 x 1032 pixel dotSlide camera offers high resolution, fast frame rates and high sensitivity with a good signal-to-noise ratio, broad dynamic range and good image quality. As a result, the camera offers images rich in detail and contrast with low background noise.

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