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Digital Pathology

11 standardisation of data formats, secure and fast inter- net communication and medico-legal aspects, digital microscopy is expected to play a revolutionary role in future histopathology. Digital slides created by slide scanners Digital microscopy creates large digital files representing all crucial details of stained tissue sections with decent resolution and high colour fidelity achieved using au- tomated focusing and white balance. Digital slides are made up of giant arrays of rectangular pixels organised along x-y coordinates, each of which is characterised by size, colour and intensity values. Produced either by area or line scanning, digital slides are built up as pyramids of microscopic image series where low power views are generated by compressing the original sharp and optimally lit images (Fig. 1A). Scanning through several focal levels within the usu- al 3-8μm sample thickness offers access to the z di- mension used for emulating fine focusing of the optical microscope. Fig. 1 A) The image series by compression allows viewing of the digital slide at arbitrary magnifi- cations (e.g. x15 and x10). Scanning at different focal levels within the sample thickness (~3-8μm) offers ac- cess to fine details in the z-dimension. Using x10 lens offers high field of view (FOV) size and focal depth, while requiring small storage space. A x20 objective allows double the optical resolution than that of x10, but at the expense of revealing smaller FOV and focal depth, while increasing the storage need. x40 ob- jective does not offer significant improvement in opti- cal resolution compared to x20 (NA=0.9 vs.0.8) despite needing large storage space and long scanning time. Fig. 1 A) The image pyramid generated from optimised x20 magnification image series by compression allows viewing of the digital slide at arbitrary magnifications (e.g. x15 and x10). See details wihin the article Fig. 3 A) Digital slide viewer interfaces utilise the whole computer monitor where preview images and navigation history (left side) of high power analysis can also be traced. See details within the article Bela Molnar MD DSc is CEO of 3DHISTECH Ltd, which has developed high-performance hardware and software products for digital pathology since 1996. A medical graduate from Semmeweis University, Budapest, and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, he gained qualifications as an internist and gastroenterologist, followed by a post doctoral 2-year fellowship with Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH. Scientific/industrial cooperation arose with Roche Diagnostics, Epigenomics Inc (Seattle/Berlin), and Carl Zeiss MicroImaging. Today, Molnar’s main research areas include biomarkers of colorectal cancer development, molecular biology applications, virtual microscopy, and quantitative image analysis, and his publications, memberships of scientific bodies and professional awards are numerous.

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