More Applications

Your application does not match any of the other categories? MetaSystems may anyway be able to find a solution for your imaging problem.

MetaSystems devices excel through a unique combination of flexibility and reliability. This makes it easy to adapt a MetaSystems product like the Metafer slide scanning platform to new applications. Please see below some success stories - maybe your application can also be automated?

Petrography

Digital microscope based imaging has changed the way the findings of petrographic examinations are nowadays carried out, documented and presented. Moreover, automation of such studies offers huge improvements in productivity and potentially significant reductions in the unit costs of examinations. Automated high-throughput digitization of geo-materials using several microscopic techniques which are routine in this field currently represents a substantial step forward in this sense.

MetaSystems has now developed an automated imaging system for unattended scanning of geological samples. The new system is based on the renowned slide scanning platform Metafer which offers a unique combination of outstanding scanning hardware with high-performance imaging software. Therefore, it constitutes an extremely versatile and robust system for microscopy automation.

Metafer is the first scanning platform for the digitization of geological samples that can be used for a high variety of contrasting methods and illumination techniques. This makes the system a genuine, all-in-one imaging solution for petrography, no matter whether translucent thin rock sections shall be observed with plane- and/or crossed-polarized transmitted light, whether block-mounted, opaque and polished metal specimens shall be inspected using reflected light illumination, or whether coal samples are assessed with epi-fluorescence illumination.

White Paper: Petrography, (587.7kB)

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Fruit Fly Larvae Imaging

To visualize RNA expression in Drosophila larvae, the central imaging facility of a large biotechnology lab wanted to combine Nomarski phase contrast images with fluorescence. Since Metafer has the flexibility to support any contrasting method the microscope offers, it was easily possible to create an adapted workflow. The resulting images contain a color image of the Drosophila larvae acquired with Nomarski phase contrast, and a fluorescence channel showing the spatial distribution of RNA expression in the larvae.

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Diatom Identification

A few years ago, MetaSystems was approached by a renowned marine research institute. The request involved imaging, and identifying diatoms in samples obtained from the sea floor and other places. Diatoms, a major group of algae, are important indicators for environmental conditions. Diatoms are enclosed with a cell wall made of silica showing a large diversity in appearance. A Metafer system and an adapted viewer software were installed and configured to communicate with existing diatom identification software. Now, the high-quality diatom images from Metafer are used routinely as a basis for automated diatom detection and identification.

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Tetrad Analysis

Arabidopsis thaliana is a 20-25 cm tall flowering plant native to Europe, Asia, and northwestern Africa with a rapid life cycle of six weeks. It is used extensively as a model organism in plant biology and genetics. With about 157 million base pairs and five chromosomes, Arabidopsis has one of the smallest genomes among plants, and it was the first one to be sequenced in 2000.

It is known that two A. thaliana genes, QRT1 and QRT2, are required for pollen separation during normal development. In certain mutants, however, pollen grains are released in tetrads. A tetrad is a cluster of 4 pollen grains that are the 4 products of one meiosis and which are still attached together. In a visual assay utilizing transgenic marker constructs it is possible to encode pollen-expressed fluorescent proteins of three colors in the quartet mutant background. This bears the possibility to study the results of one single meiosis and to analyze the crossing over interference (inhibition of nearby crossing overs) based on the specific fluorescence color pattern of the tetrads.

After harvesting, however, the fluorescence of the fluorescent reporter proteins in the tetrads vanishes within 4 hours. Therefore, the number of analyzed tetrads is limited if manual microscopy is used. An automated imaging protocol based on the possibilities of the Metafer slide scanning platform, however, is capable of finding and identifying tetrads on the sample automatically. Thus, far more tetrads can be analyzed in the time before the markers vanish. Analysis of the tetrads is also automated by classifying the different color patterns. All data are conveniently summarized in automated reports.

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