The 3D-Pathology project has created a novel microscope system that realises, for the pathologist at their work bench, real-time analysis of three-dimensional, digital images from transmitted light microscopy (TLM).
The system incorporates:
1. A software application that facilitates the role of the pathologist to:
a.survey a microscopic specimen, at low resolution;
b.identify and digitally capture one or more regions of interest (ROI) within the specimen, at high resolution;
c.perform an image reconstruction on the ROI to enhance the contrast and detail;
· analyse and manipulate the reconstructed ROI, for diagnostic purposes;
· all from the comfort of their desktop personal computer.
2. A hardware prototype that includes:
a.a stage platform, to position the specimen;
b.a microscope and digital camera assembly, to acquire image data;
c.a custom-built interface, to allow the hardware to be controlled from a personal computer.
Key to the success of the system is the availability of an appropriate model of the image distortion that occurs within the optical system. Such a model has been devised, based on the assumption that distortion can be described as the convolution of the ideal image and a point spread function which expresses the effects of absorption within the specimen. Current computational techniques for deconvolution are applied to recover a high quality digital representation of the original specimen.