Courtesy of GT Vision
Histologists and pathologists examining slide after slide each day now have a new tool to ease their microscopy headaches and dramatically increase their throughput as well. Surveyor, an automated imaging system from Frederick, Md.-based GT Vision
Users view slides on a computer screen rather than through an eyepiece, thus reducing operator fatigue. Surveyor presents two separate on-screen images of the specimen: a map of the entire slide and a live image of a specific point at any magnification. By clicking any point on the map, users can quickly zoom in on features of interest. "Users of the system say that in general, it's reduced the time taken to study sections by up to 95 percent, because they see everything on the screen, and they're not having to manually move the stage of the microscope back and forth," says Stephen McJonathan, product manager for GT Vision.
Stage movement and image capture are synchronized so that information from the sample can be displayed on the computer monitor in real time. The system automatically tracks when the sample has gone out of focus due to slide imperfections (which often can happen at high magnifications, says McJonathan). "When it scans the sample it's stitching together all the fields of view into one large image seamlessly, and ... simultaneously it's tracking the focus on the sample," McJonathan says.
Any existing microscope can be upgraded with the Surveyor system for less than $30,000 (US), depending on the age and optical parameters of the microscope, according to McJonathan. Additionally, the cost may be reduced for customers with an existing motorized stage and/or camera.
Bob Dayton, systems administrator, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Prostate Diagnostic Lab, is using Surveyor to image 16,000 biopsy cores for a study of benign prostate hyperplasia. Dayton says his laboratory would not be able to perform the study without Surveyor, as no other system enables imaging of whole cores with the same ease of use or range of options.
- Aileen Constans