TACMASR features the iScan Coreo AU brightfield microscope slide scanner (BioImagene, now a part of Ventana Medical Systems, Inc). The iScan can provide color images of entire tissue sections mounted on microscope slides. Slides can be scanned at 4x, 10x, 20x and 40x. The iScan can be loaded with up to 160 microscope slides at a time.
Images can be stored in the propriety BIF format, or exported to TIFF or JPEG2000 file formats. These images can be viewed on a Windows computer using either the free Sedeen Image Viewer (TIFF, JPEG2000) or the free OpenSlide software (BIF, TIFF, JPEG2000). Image analysis can be performed on TIFF or JPEG2000 images using the Cancer Center's Definiens Tissue Studio software.
Advantages of whole slide scanning*
- Digital slides are more interactive, instantaneously available to multiple remote users, can be easily annotated, and promote standardization of training materials (ie, identical slide sets are available for all trainees).
- Digital slides are logistically easier to send to multiple sites than glass slides (e.g., clinical trails).
- Glass slides on the other hand require expensive light microscopes, the slides can physically degrade over time (eg, loss of staining), and cannot be instantaneously viewed or shared with multiple remote users.
- Digital slides are useful for documenting certain types of cases such as exotic/rare specimens, cytology slides, and small biopsies with scant amounts of material where recuts cannot be obtained, or slides that must be returned.
- With whole slide imaging (WSI) platforms, the highest-quality slides of the most representative sections can easily be archived for educational purposes in a virtual slide format that will not fade, break, or get lost.
* quoted or lightly modified from: Farahani N, Parwani AV, Pantanowitz L (2015) Whole slide imaging in pathology: advantages, limitations, and emerging perspectives, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine International 7:23-33