Digital imaging and quantitation of stained histological sections is increasingly becoming the standard for evaluation of biomarkers of disease. The VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (VATVHS), Nashville campus is requesting funds to upgrade a highly utilized 10-year old Ariol SL50 automated slide scanning system to the Ariol SL200. The SL50 can no longer keep up with the existing needs of researchers involved in large- scale translational research studies with the added modalities needed to address current demands for pathological specimen analysis. The Ariol SL200 is an automated imaging system capable of scanning and analyzing both bright field and high-resolution fluorescence slides on one integrated platform. It is based on the Leica DM6000B automated microscope and features an automated 200-slide loader, a marked improvement over the SL50 which held only 50 slides. The SL200 also captures digitized images of whole tissues at a wider range of magnifications (5X-100X objectives) using multiple types of stains, counterstains, chromagens and fluorescent probes. The Ariol software features a multitude of analytic modules such as triple and quadruple stained immunohistochemical (IHC) quantification, nuclear/cytoplasmic/membrane segmentation and assessment of angiogenesis. In addition the SL200 will analyze sections or Tissue Micro Array (TMA) slides stained with multiple different kinds of methods: IHC, immunofluorescence, fluorescence in situ hybridization, analyzing for colocalization and circulating tumor cells, as examples of specific dedicated capabilities. The requested system will be administered by Dr. James Goldenring and the Digital Histology Shared Resource (DHSR), a core facility that serves the VATVHS Nashville Campus, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Meharry Medical College and presently oversees the use of two pieces of VA shared equipment. Researchers depend on the speed and objectivity that the Ariol system and its included analysis software provide to process their data quickly and efficiently. Automated imaging and analysis saves researches enormous amounts of time and removes the bias that can occur when histological staining is scored manually. Scanned slides can be uploaded to a secure website through the adjunct Digital Imaging Hub hosted by the DHSR, enabling researchers to collaborate with colleagues either locally or anywhere in the world. The requested Ariol SL200 system is necessary to meet present needs and to keep pace with growing demand for quantitative imaging analysis.
Automated microscopic imaging and analysis of translational research-related tissue sections is vital for generating reliable and reproducible data, free of observer bias, as efficiently as possible in terms of time, money and material. The Ariol SL200 automated slide scanning system will greatly modernize the labor intensive tasks of generating and quantifying microscopic image data from irreplaceable tissue samples.
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