Slide Overview and Image Stitching
VSlide is the versatile virtual slide scanner from MetaSystems. Based on the renowned slide scanning platform Metafer, VSlide combines the advantages of a motorized microscope with modern, high-quality imaging automation. Therefore VSlide is not restricted to predefined magnifications or contrasting modes. Even Z-stacks are automatically acquired, providing the possibility to virtually 'focus' through the digitized sample.
VSlide is especially strong in fluorescence mode. Based on 25 years of experience in fluorescence imaging, it reliably handles complex fluorescence images and even images with a combination of fluorescence and bright field.
Imaging with VSlide is very easy. The system automatically reads and interprets bar code labels, and pre-scans facilitate tissue detection in bright field, transmitted light, dark field, or any other contrasting method. The final high resolution scan can be done with any microscope magnification.
A virtual slide image is generated automatically by the dedicated stitching software. Different contrasting methods and color modes are available to be combined in one file, or in separate data sets. Since the source files are kept on the system, image stitching can anytime be repeated, e.g. to create another image with different color channel settings.
Local and Remote Image Viewers
VSlide users can choose from a variety of output file formats, including the revolutionary MetaViewer / VMD format (VSI). VSI images contain all relevant image information including color channel details, focus stacks, and annotations. Locally VSI images are inspected with the versatile MetaViewer software (free for VSlide users), which offers many tools for image viewing and analysis. For remote image inspection the internet based VMD server solution offers the possibility to organize image databases, to manage user access rights, and to view VSI images directly in any web browser.
VSlide supports the MetaSystems CoolCube 1c color camera (preferred for bright field imaging) and the MetaSystems CoolCube 1m monochrome camera (for bright field and fluorescence imaging). A computer controlled RGB-LED illumination provides a homogenous field, control of color/white balance, and instantaneous color switching.
Parameter Sets and Linking
An unlimited number of VSlide parameter sets can be stored and used to automate the scanning workflow. Information on the slide, the preferred scanning parameters, and the output format can be coded into a bar code. Alternatively a processing file, created e.g. by an external database, can control the workflow. Different scans are easily linked and performed subsequently without interaction. This feature facilitates the use of pre-scans for tissue detection, followed by a high magnification analysis scan. Also conditional scans based on analysis results are possible. Intelligent tissue mapping avoids scanning of empty regions („holes") within tissue.
VSlide supports Z-stack image acquisition to generate on-screen focusable virtual slides. The analysis software MetaViewer (included) offers the possibility to navigate through the focus planes of a virtual slide, thus providing a virtual microscope on screen.
Smart Slide Digitization
Once a virtual slide is created, all the spatial information of the originally acquired image tiles remains accessible. This allows for precise relocation of any part of the image under the microscope, or even for subsequent acquisition of selected regions using different parameters.
Tissue mapping functionality offers the possibility to create an unlimited number of smart workflows. Regions of interest (e.g., tumor regions in a tissue section) can be easily marked in the MetaViewer software. Data on the selected regions is then transferred back to Metafer to generate a target list for additional scans. Once the target list is available, the selected regions on the slide can be re-scanned with other magnifications, contrasting methods, or scanning parameters. Since the VSI file format is internet ready (for use with the online image viewer VMD*), the selection of regions can even be done remotely. Provider of slide digitization services can use this feature to allow their customers for selecting their preferred regions from their desktops.
In combination with a laser micro dissection system (e.g., PALM MicroBeam of Carl Zeiss) regions of interest can be marked in the virtual slide, and the region specifications can then be transferred to the dissection system.
Imaging Consecutive Sections
Often it may be useful to scan subsequent sections of the same tissue block, labeled with different staining methods (e.g., H&E and fluorescence). Up to now it was, however, not possible to automatically find the corresponding regions on both slides. With the VSlide* tissue matching functionality users can easily match both sections in the MetaViewer software. A segmentation and matching toolbar allows for interactive alignment of the images originating from serial tissue sections. Once matching is done, any region selected in the first slide can be re-located in the second slide, and can also be re-scanned with Metafer.
Automated Image Enhancement
With the new image enhancement possibilities of VSlide any raw image can be automatically processed while VSlide is stitching the image. Like in Metafer itself, the user can test a sequence of image processing algorithms at an original image from the source data set. Once the optimal sequence is found it can be implemented to the parameter set, and it will then be applied to each image in the set. Of course the processing is only applied to the result image, and the raw data remains untouched. Images can therefore be created based on different processing sequenced, e.g. to accentuate different features of the acquired specimen.
Virtual Microscope Database (VMD)
Images created with VSlide in the VSI file format can be uploaded to the VMD image server. With VMD any VSlide image can be reviewed in an internet browser; no extra hardware is required. Images can be organized in user- or institute-specific folders. VMD manages access levels automatically. The browser-based viewer includes the following functionality:
- Zooming and panning (with the mouse or using the toolbar on the left)
- Adjusting the image to a pre-defined magnification using a drop-down list
- Navigating through the image with the navigator preview
- Separate display of color channels
- Focus stack display
- Adding annotations and defining regions of interest
- Adding notes
- Quick navigation to previously defined annotations and/or regions of interest
- Capturing screenshots and saving them locally into JPG files
- Visualization of original camera fields (fiels of view / FOV). This function is only available if in the VSlide parameter set the respective switch was set
Open the MetaSystems demo VMD server here.
Log in with the user name ms and the password ms