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Olympus unveils enhanced dotSlide digital virtual microscopy systems

Olympus Life Science Europa - Microscopy : 23 July, 2008  (New Product)
A new release of the Olympus range of dotSlide digital virtual microscopy systems offers enhanced functionality and image quality for scanning entire slides at high resolution and fidelity, making them accessible and fully navigable, anywhere on the globe.
The three dotSlide 2.0 models (dotSlide MD, manual version; dotSlide SL, fully automated version with slide loader; and dotSlide TMA, with tissue Microarray module) offer more innovative features to enable users to examine virtual slides without being near a microscope, faster and even easier than before. Furthermore, Net Image Server (NIS) SQL expands the dotSlide family with a more flexible and powerful Client Server Database for the management of images and data. The dotSlide 2.0 provides high-throughput and high-content capabilities for all pathology and research applications.

The Olympus dotSlide workstation and server system are equipped for optimal speed, precision, security and performance and enable fully controllable remote access, whatever the requirements. 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, by users anywhere on the globe via a web browser. The dotSlide system features a robotic arm that places the slides onto the stage holder and an integrated barcode scanner that ensures that any bar-coded meta-data are automatically loaded and linked with the resultant virtual image. Furthermore, all dotSlide models use the advanced Olympus BX51 microscope, which offers extraordinary optical performance.

As well as being fluorescent-compatible, the standard dotSlide MD system allows slides and metadata are loaded manually and the virtual file created automatically based on the user’s preferences. With dotSlide SL, slides are automatically loaded from the slide loader, which holds up to 50 slides in five trays. The dotSlide TMA is now a complete system incorporating a tissue Microarray (TMA) module with the new client server database Net Image Server (NIS) SQL. This combination facilitates the acquisition of small tissue cores as single images, which are then immediately uploaded together with the relevant metadata and overview of the TMA slide to the NIS SQL database for traceability. This allows users to perform effortless analysis of the TMA and metadata and permits a single core from the overview TMA slide image to be selected visually.

The new Olympus dotSlide 2.0 offers additional innovative functions and is easier to use than before, providing users with superior functionality, usability and performance. The user is now guided through the virtual slide acquisition process step-by-step by an intuitive Scan Wizard. The graphical user interface (GUI) features large control icons and allows even inexperienced users to immediately produce the perfect image results they require in just a few steps with minimal training.

dotSlide 2.0 is now capable of scanning multiple large specimens in up to 15 Z-planes. Virtual Z allows the reviewer to simply focus through the specimen, as well as examining regions of interest in different dimensions. This enables better observation for remote consults, as well as consistent training for students and pathologists. The dotSlide autofocus function offers improved autofocus capabilities, even when the Z-distance from the specimen’s focal plane is much larger, as it frequently occurs in specimens with a strong topography. The user can also set focus points manually, to achieve superior results for difficult samples, leading to an improved reliability for the whole virtual slide acquisition process. In addition, a newly developed sharpness filter for the dotSlide camera results in improved contrast, with virtual slide images appearing highly-defined and even clearer than before.

Label Scan is a new feature that enables dotSlide to scan the slide’s label along with the overview image allowing users to get an impression of the complete slide, and not only of the area that contains the specimen. In addition, mistakes from typing in data manually can be avoided as the label is a secure proof of the identity of the slide.

The integrated, versatile Net Image Server (NIS) SQL expands the dotSlide product range family with a client server database and allows users to manage any kind of image in a simple and convenient way. The powerful tool enables scanned images to be automatically uploaded to the database making them readily available for immediate remote access and multiple keyword queries. Customised database fields, user defined database structure offer greater flexibility, and NIS SQL also supports multiple file repository systems to allow secure, easy networking between different scanning units within one database.
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