About 100 guests from 36 countries met on the XVIII. MetaSystems Distributor Meeting (DM) in November to exchange experiences and to get to know new trends and developments at MetaSystems.
Pathology and Tissue Imaging
- Sample Digitization
- Digital Pathology and FISH
MetaSystems has designed a system for FISH imaging, and visualization tools, to be integrated in the routine workflow of pathology labs. Smart slide scanning, networking, and documentation assist with the generation of faster and more accurate results.
The Metafer1 scanning platform, using the VSlide module, combines the advantages of a motorized microscope with modern, high-quality imaging automation. The system is not restricted to certain magnifications, nor contrasting modes. Even Z-stacks may be automatically acquired and displayed, thus providing the possibility to virtually 'focus' through the digitized sample.
Sample digitization with Metafer1 is very simple. The system automatically reads and interprets bar code labels and uses the encoded information to provide smart control of the multi-stage scanning workflow. Alternatively, dedicated imaging protocols can be pre-programmed from external software, e.g. by a LIMS. All images are accessible immediately after scanning and can be opened on any workstation with the included free viewer software.
Metafer1’s virtual slides are stitched from individual image fields to achieve unrivaled image quality, while also providing extremely fast scan times. The combination of a high-resolution camera, ultra-fast scanning hardware, and the high-capacity SlideFeeder SFx80 make VSlide the fastest, yet most precise, system of its kind.
Because of Metafer1’s flexibility, the system is ideal for complex imaging tasks within pathology and beyond. Whether visualizing and imaging diatom images from the sea, or fruit fly larvae digitized using a combination of Nomarski phase contrast and fluorescence – there is almost no conceivable imaging application Metafer1 cannot accomplish.
Based on the input of our users and laboratory managers, MetaSystems has developed a dedicated system to analyze FISH signals in tissue sections. The core of the MetaSystems solution is a combination of DNA probes with the innovative platform, Neon Metafer1. Performance benefits can be expected when using MetaSystems’ locus-specific FISH probes targeting amplifications, deletions, or translocations of gene regions involved in solid tumors, which have been optimized for automation.
The module is based on the powerful analysis engine, Metafer1, extended with a new, convenient graphical analysis environment. The user interface supports either conventional mouse control, as well as an optional interactive pen.
As an initial step, a digital brightfield image, e.g. from an H&E slide, is generated by Neon Metafer1. The pathologist calls up the digital slide and selects the tumor region on screen on the virtual slide that requires FISH scoring.
Next, the FISH slide (from a subsequent section of the same block) is scanned at low magnification to generate an overview image. Displayed side by side with the marked digital H&E image, the location of the tumor region can easily be transferred to the FISH slide.
Neon Metafer1 now has all of the information needed to start automatic image acquisition of the FISH slide at higher magnification. Cell nuclei that are isolated, or slightly connected, will be separated automatically and spot-counted. Manual tools for segmentation help to separate touching nuclei for immediate automatic scoring until the preset number of cells to be analyzed has been reached. The module can be easily set up to match the individual analysis standards. For instance, it is possible to define a minimum number of cells to be analyzed, and also to define a number of independent readers.
For final review, the system presents a full synopsis to the pathologist, comprising the cell gallery with the scoring results, the virtual DAPI slide showing the positions of analyzed cells, and the corresponding H&E virtual slide. Every cell can be traced back to the tissue section to confirm its location within the pre-selected tumor region. Final results can either be exported as raw data, allowing for processing in external software, or be summarized in comprehensive, user-customizable reports.