Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Scalp with Hair under the Microscope

The scalp is the soft tissue layers covering the bone of the vault of the skull. It consists of a thin sheet of muscle, the epicranius, a layer of connective tissue richly supplied with blood vessels, and the skin. Typically the scalp is covered with hair.

Hair is simple in structure and is made of a tough protein called keratin. A hair follicle anchors each hair into the skin. The hair bulb forms the base of the hair follicle. In the hair bulb, living cells divide and grow to build the soft shaft. Blood vessels nourish the cells in the hair bulb, and deliver hormones that modify hair growth and structure at different times in life.

Hair grows at different rates in different people, with the average rate at one-half inch per month. Hair color is created by pigment cells producing melanin in the hair follicle. With aging, pigment cells die and hair turns gray.

The images of scalp with hair (cross sections) were captured using the Fein Optic RB30 microscope and a 5mp microscope camera.

Image of hair and scalp under the microscope at 40x.
Hair and scalp c.s. captured under the microscope at 40x.

Hair follicule captured under the microscope at 100x.
Hair and scalp c.s. captured under the microscope at 100x.

Hair and scalp c.s. captured under the microscope at 100x.
Hair and scalp c.s. captured under the microscope at 400x.

For more info on microscopes and digital microscopy cameras contact Microscope World.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Cellular Neurothekeoma under the Microscope

Cellular Neurothekeoma appear as a painless skin mass or nodule that are occasionally painful to the touch. The skin over the nodule is pink, firm and usually intact, with a size between 0.5 - 2cm. In the majority of cases the nodules do not cause any symptoms.  The most common location of Cellular Neurothekeoma nodules is the head and neck region, however the tumors can appear anywhere on the body.

Cellular Neurothekeoma affects both males and females, but is more common in females and it commonly occurs in young individuals in their mid-20s. Treatment for Cellular Neurothekeoma is complete surgical removal and this typically cures the condition. If the tumors are not completely removed they may recur after a period of time, hence it is important to completely remove them through surgery.

The images below of Cellular Neurothekeoma were captured with a lab microscope using the Lumenera Infinity 2-5 CCD 5 megapixel camera.

Microscopy image of cellular neurothekeoma at 100x.
Cellular Neurothekeoma captured with the Infinity 2-5 microscope camera at 100x.

Cellular Neurothekeoma under the microscope 200x.
Cellular Neurothekeoma captured with the Infinity 2-5 microscope camera at 200x.

Microscopy image of Cellular Neurothekeoma captured with the Infinity 2-5 microscope camera at 200x.
Cellular Neurothekeoma captured with the Infinity 2-5 microscope camera at 200x.

For more information on microscopes or microscopy cameras contact Microscope World.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Digital Pathology Microscope Cameras

Pathologists study and diagnose disease through examination of organs, tissues and bodily fluids. Digital pathology is the practice of digitizing glass slides and managing the resultant information for later educational, diagnostic, and analytic purposes.

Digital pathology captured images are used for documentation, archiving, teaching, publication and consultation. Microscope digital cameras used in pathology applications use the following features to produce the best results.

High-Fidelity Color Reproduction and Consistency:
Pathology is practiced by identifying and acting upon visual cues. In contract to digital radiology, which is confined to grey-scale images, color plays a crucial perceptual role. For this reason, colors captured by the camera should match human perception as much as possible. Additionally color capture should be as consistent as possible from one capture to another.

The fidelity and consistency of color capture is paramount in digital pathology applications. One key consideration is the means by which color wavelengths are filtered prior to being captured by the image sensor. Crucial hardware design choices, such as whether to use mosaicing filters or three different pixel sensors for each RGB color, can affect color quality. In terms of software, reproduction algorithms designed for specific types of pathology must also be carefully designed and tested. Color quality and consistency are also affected by the monitor used to display the resulting image.

Digital pathology image captured with Infinity 2-5 microscope CCD camera.
Microcystic Adnexal Carcinoma- Perineural captured with Infinity 2-5 camera.

Low Noise:
Every digital microscope camera suffers from a degree of noise that degrades the image. Due to the stringent quality standards of digital pathology, cameras must exhibit a high signal-to-noise ratio in order to produce images acceptable for medical diagnosis. Camera noise can be divided into fixed-pattern noise or temporal noise. Fixed-pattern noise is produced by variability between pixel to pixel. Using high-quality components and a careful production process can reduce this variability as can proper calibration. Temporal noise is produced during the image capture process. One source is optical (or shot) noise, which is a fundamental and unavoidable property of photos. It is possible to mitigate shot noise through the use of software post-processing algorithms. Another source is electronic noise, produced by the electronic circuitry and semi-conductors during the capture process. Aspects such as size of the photodetector surface, integration time for linear sensors and component quality all play a role.

Wide Dynamic Range / Large Bit Depth:
The dynamic range of a camera refers to the range of light intensity that it can capture in one frame. Cameras still struggle to produce low noise images that can match the dynamic range of the human eye. In this specific application, especially when fluorescence specimens are used, it is crucial that both low- and high-intensity signals are captured and displayed to the medical professional.

The fundamental electronic circuitry of an image sensor is one key factor that can significantly impact dynamic range. Another key factor affecting dynamic range is the size of individual pixels. While smaller pixels do increase spatial resolution, they also reduce the number of photos hitting the image sensor, which limits the dynamic range of the resulting image.

Microscopy image captured using Infinity 3-3UR CCD low light camera.
Ilium Brownii captured with Infinity 3-3UR camera using 10x objective, 10ms exposure, 1.2x gain, 1.0 gamma.

Excellent Sensitivity:
Sensitivity is related to dynamic range and is the lowest light intensity a camera can capture where the amount of noise is still less than the true light signals. Human eyes have lower sensitivity than cameras, which explains why a flash is needed for consumer photography conditions that may seem well-lit to the human eye. High sensitivity is desirable in digital pathology. In particular, fluorescence imaging, with its frequent low-intensity signals, has demanding needs for high-quality images under challenging conditions. Physical components of the camera can affect sensitivity, as can the size of pixels since larger pixels capture more photons.

High Spatial Resolution:
A high spatial resolution, meaning the smallest details the imaging system can capture, is a desirable feature of most imaging applications. However, most digital pathology applications, such as certain types of tissue processing, necessitate stringent resolution demands for visual cues and this can push against the theoretical optical resolution limit of visible light.

Large Optical Sensor:
The size of the camera sensor affects how much of the microscopy field of view the pathologist can capture at one time.

Sheep thyroid gland captured with Infinity 3-6UR microcope camera by Lumenera.
Thyroid gland of a sheet captured with a 40x objective lens using Infinity 3-6UR camera.

Fast Frame Rates:
Whole-slide imaging requires high frame rates (90 fps or higher) to keep the digital scanning process as fast as possible. In order to match these fast frame rates, the image sensor quality, including many of the factors explained above, must be high enough to perform effectively under these quick conditions.

Standard and High-Speed Data Interface:
In order to allow a fast transfer of the image data, the camera must be equipped with a high-speed data interface.

Popular Digital Pathology Microscope Cameras:
Quantum efficiency is basically how efficient a camera is at capturing available light, meaning a higher quantum efficiency is desirable. All of the above microscope cameras have a maximum bit depth of 14 bits and output color-accurate raw images. View all Lumenera microscope cameras here. For more information on digital pathology and setting up your microscope and camera configuration, contact Microscope World.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Amber under the Microscope

Amber is an organic gemstone that is formed from the hardened resin of ancient pine trees. The hardening process of Amber is known as polymerization, which fossilizes the resin over time and makes it solid and sturdy. Amber is formed from viscous, sticky resin, and therefore commonly contains inclusions that got stuck in the Amber and remained there when it hardened. These inclusions often include insects or plants, with the most well-known being mosquitoes. Amber with well-preserved organisms frozen internally are highly prized.

Macro zoom lens microscope system for high magnification.
Macro Zoom Lens Microscope
Juan Pons of National Treasures of Mexico mines for amber in Chiapas, Mexico, a southern Mexico state bordering Guatemala. Deep in the mines of Chiapas, he locates pieces of Amber, many of which have inclusions of insects and flowers that are hundreds and even thousands of years old.

The images of amber shown below were captured using a macro zoom lens microscope system with the DCC2 2 megapixel CCD microscope camera. A feature on the software known as extended depth of focus was used with several of the images in order to capture in-focus images at different depths of field and then merging them into a single crisply focused image.

Amber with a flower inside of it captured under a zoom lens microscope system.
Amber piece with a flower encapsulated in it under a macro zoom lens microscope.

Insect inside a piece of amber from Mexico under the microscope.
Insect inside amber captured under the microscope.

Amber with insect under the micrsocope at 60x using extended depth of focus software.
Amber captured at 60x under the microscope using extended depth of focus with the DCC2 microscopy camera.

Amber insect under the microscope using extended depth of focus microscopy software.
Amber captured at 78x under the microscope using extended depth of focus with the DCC2 microscopy camera.

Amber captured at 90x under a macro zoom lens microscope.
Amber captured at 90x under a macro zoom lens microscope.

Flower in a piece of amber under a macro zoom lens microscope.
Flower inside amber under a macro zoom lens microscope system.

Insect in a piece of amber under the microscope at 17x.
Insect in a piece of amber captured at 17x under the microscope.

Amber under the microscope at 42x.
Insect in a piece of amber captured at 42x under the microscope.

For more information on amber, contact Juan Pons by email or phone 831-227-6398.
For more information on microscopes, microscopy cameras or extended depth of focus software contact Microscope World.