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Keywords:

  • image cytometry;
  • slide-based cytometry;
  • whole slide imaging;
  • virtual microscopy;
  • digital slide

Abstract

Slide-based image cytometry (SBC) has several advantages over flow cytometry but it is not widely used because of its low throughput, complicated workflow, and high price. Fully automated microscopes became affordable with the advent of whole slide imaging (WSI) and they can be transformed into a cytometer. A MIRAX MIDI automated whole slide imager was used with metal-halide and light emitting diode (LED)-based fluorescent illumination, filter block changer, and a cooled monochrome charge coupled device camera. The MIRAX control software was further developed for fluorescent sample detection, autofocusing, multichannel digitization, and signal correction due to nonuniform illumination. Fluorescent calibration beads were used to verify the linearity of the system. The HistoQuant software package of the MIRAX viewer was used for image segmentation and quantitative analysis. The data was displayed by the histogram, scatter plot, and gallery functions of the same program. Fluorescent samples can be reliably detected, focused, and scanned. The measured integrated fluorescence showed linearity with exposure time and staining intensity. Automated fluorescent WSI with stable LED illumination and high-quality homogeneous fluorescent slides can be used conveniently for SBC. © 2009 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry