Olympus VS120 Virtual Slide Scanning System Earns Three Awards at the Prestigious Second International Scanner Contest
13 Nov 2012

The Olympus VS120 Slide Scanning System has earned three first place awards at the prestigious second International Scanner Contest (ISC), which took place in Berlin earlier this year. The advanced technology of the VS120 creates a “virtual slide”, a high resolution image of the complete specimen that can be electronically stored on a central server for simultaneous viewing anywhere in the world, at a range of magnifications. Awards were obtained in the fields of Color and Precision, Fluorescence 20X, and Fluorescence 40X. Exhibiting unsurpassed performance in fluorescence microscopy, combined with precise color rendition and scanning accuracy, the Olympus VS120 is the perfect system for all pathology and life science research applications requiring slide scanning and data archiving.

The second ISC was held in May this year, with awards announced at the 24th European Congress of Pathology in Prague in September. The ISC was organized by the renowned Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin in collaboration with several other institutions. The ISC is the only contest of its kind, being organized and judged exclusively by pathologists, the everyday users of slide scanning microscope systems.

Color fidelity and precision are of paramount importance for all pathology and life-science applications where analysis may depend on both structural and color interpretation. Especially if virtual slides are to be communicated between laboratories, it is essential they exactly resemble the actual sample in terms of structural detail and color shade.

Resolving maximum detail when scanning at high resolution depends on precision scanning to capture multiple images with the upmost positional accuracy, combined with advanced software algorithms to ‘stitch’ the images together to form a reliable panorama. This aspect of hardware and software interaction was assessed using software to detect distortions introduced when scanning a mesh grid, while color rendering was gauged using a ‘color standard slide’. The VS120 excelled on both accounts, scanning without distortion at high resolution, while faithfully interpreting the color standard, surpassing the performance of all alternative platforms. Therefore, the VS120 is not only suitable for standard scanning tasks, but is also a versatile research tool for all applications where detail is important.

The VS120 also received both awards available in the fluorescence category: the Fluorescence 20X and Fluorescence 40X. Evaluated by scanning a sample of fluorescent beads at a range of dilutions, the VS120 exhibited precision focus and displayed the best scanning results in both disciplines. This included the sensitivity to detect the weakest of signals together with the ability to display the brightest signals without saturation, ensuring that the best possible results are generated across a high dynamic range, even from slides exhibiting large intra-sample variation in signal intensity.

Dr. Jan Barghaan, Product Manager responsible for the Virtual Slide Scanning Systems at Olympus Europe, commented: “The ISC has created a huge impact in the field, and we are proud to have been recognized by such a well-known contest. These awards attest to Olympus’ commitment to image quality in virtual slide scanning systems: from high quality optics and detection, through to intelligent software algorithms.”

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