Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopic imaging is an emerging technique that combines the molecular
selectivity of spectroscopy with the spatial specificity of optical microscopy. We demonstrate a new concept in obtaining
high fidelity data using commercial array detectors coupled to a microscope and Michelson interferometer. Next, we
apply the developed technique to rapidly provide automated histopathologic information for breast cancer. Traditionally,
disease diagnoses are based on optical examinations of stained tissue and involve a skilled recognition of morphological
patterns of specific cell types (histopathology). Consequently, histopathologic determinations are a time consuming,
subjective process with innate intra- and inter-operator variability. Utilizing endogenous molecular contrast inherent in
vibrational spectra, specially designed tissue microarrays and pattern recognition of specific biochemical features, we
report an integrated algorithm for automated classifications. The developed protocol is objective, statistically significant
and, being compatible with current tissue processing procedures, holds potential for routine clinical diagnoses. We first
demonstrate that the classification of tissue type (histology) can be accomplished in a manner that is robust and rigorous.
Since data quality and classifier performance are linked, we quantify the relationship through our analysis model. Last,
we demonstrate the application of the minimum noise fraction (MNF) transform to improve tissue segmentation.