This paper describes an internet-based system for telepathology. This system provides support for multiple users and exploits the opportunities for optimization that arise in multi-user environment. Techniques for increasing system responsiveness by improving resource utilization and lowering network traffic are explored. Some of the proposed optimizations include an auto-focus module, client and server side caching, and request reordering. These systems can be an economic solution not only for remote pathology consultation but also for pathology and biology education.
Multispectral imaging has been in use for over half a century. Owing to advances in digital photographic technology, multispectral imaging is now used in settings ranging from clinical medicine to industrial quality control. Our efforts focus on the use of multispectral imaging coupled with spectral deconvolution for measurement of endogenous tissue fluorophores and for animal tissue analysis by multispectral fluorescence, absorbance, and reflectance data.
Multispectral reflectance and fluorescence images may be useful in evaluation of pathology in histological samples. For example, current hematoxylin/eosin diagnosis limits spectral analysis to shades of red and blue/grey. It is possible to extract much more information using multispectral techniques. To collect this information, a series of filters or a device such as an acousto-optical tunable filter (AOTF) or liquid-crystal filter (LCF) can be used with a CCD camera, enabling collection of images at many more wavelengths than is possible with a simple filter wheel. In multispectral data processing the “unmixing” of reflectance or fluorescence data and analysis and the classification based upon these spectra is required for any classification. In addition to multispectral techniques, extraction of topological information may be possible by reflectance deconvolution or multiple-angle imaging, which could aid in accurate diagnosis of skin lesions or isolation of specific biological components in tissue. The goal of these studies is to develop spectral signatures that will provide us with specific and verifiable tissue structure/function information. In addition, relatively complex classification techniques must be developed so that the data are of use to the end user.
This paper describes a simple, inexpensive multispectral imaging system for image cytometry applications. The system is based on an acousto-optical tunable filter (AOTF), a monochrome CCD camera, and a research-grade fluorescence microscope. The selected TeO<sub>2</sub> AOTF has a 10x10 mm<sup>2</sup> entrance aperture and operates within the spectral range of 447-750 nm. The bandpass of the filter varies between 1.4 nm at 450 nm and 5.1 nm at 690 nm. The control software works within the environment of a popular image-acquisition and -processing package Image Pro-Plus, making this system easy to integrate with many existing fluorescence microscopes and cameras. Since image-cytometry applications do not require very high spatial resolution, AOTF-based systems may become an interesting alternative to more complex and expensive LCTF or pushbroom methods.