WATERLOO, ON CANADA--This image represents a section of breast tissue from what is claimed to be the largest pathology image ever produced. The image was generated by Biomedical Photometrics Inc. using its TISSUEscope 4000 slide scanner, which is capable of image specimens up to 5 x 7 inches. BPI's website, which hosts number of new brightfield and confocal fluorescence pathology images generated by the instrument, enables you to click on a thumbnail and "wander around" inside the imagery--just as in Google Earth.
The company bases its instruments (and services) on patented, proprietary confocal submicron laser scanning technology, which enables panoramic, fluorescence and brightfield imaging of large specimens in minutes. The technology replaces conventional microscope objectives with telecentric f*theta laser scan lenses and new scanning optics, which enables a viewing area more than 100 times that of a conventional microscope with the same resolution.
The incoming laser beam is focused to a spot on the microscope by a telecentric, f*theta laser scan lens, and this spot is moved across the width of the slide by a scanning mirror. At the same time, the slide is moved slowly along its length, so the result is a raster scan of the focused laser spot across the surface of the slide (and the tissue specimen mounted on it). Reflected or fluorescent light from the specimen is collected by the scan lens and detected using a photomultiplier tube. Data are collected one pixel at a time during the scan and assembled into a digital image file (three channels can be detected simultaneously).
Take a tour through the breast tissue--and other specimens--at Biomedical Photometrics' image gallery.