The purpose of this shared S10 instrumentation grant application is for the purchase of an Olympus VS120 high throughput automated slide scanning microscope. The main aim is to provide high throughput slide scanning capabilities at the University of Miami (UM) to support the NIH funded research of 14 Major Users, as well as 5 Minor User groups representing 4 Centers and 8 Departments at the University of Miami (UM). Currently, there are no available, open-access, high-throughput slide scanning microscopes at UM or nearby research facilities (please see attached letters). The user groups have identified a strong need for high throughput image acquisition of pathological and immunofluorescently labeled slides to accelerate and expand their research programs. The increased throughput will provide the opportunity to increase the number of biomarkers that can be imaged in a given experiment and the number of analysis that can be conducted per sample thereby generating new data and increasing statistical power to detect group differences. Currently available instrumentation is limited to manual and labor intensive image acquisition. We expect that numerous other NIH-funded projects will be well supported by this instrument in the future as other investigators become aware its utility and functionality. We chose the Olympus VS120 slide scanner as the preferred instrument based on two main goals: 1) provide automated high throughput image acquisition and 2) to offer high- resolution imaging of tissues that require brightfield or complex, multi-channel fluorescence labeling. The instrument will be housed and maintained at the open access Analytical Imaging Core Facility (AICF), available to the entire UM community. The existing confocal microscopes in the AICF facility allow for high precision state of art imaging. However, since our confocals are point scanning microscopes (which means they sequentially acquire intensity reads from individual pixels), their performance speed is much lower, compared to the slide scanner, and not capable of automated high throughput operation. Other available instrumentation (e.g., confocal or conventional fluorescent microscopes) require manual imaging of individual fields within a tissue specimen, such that overlapping images must be obtained and the images ?stitched? together. The entire process is tedious and time consuming. Existing manually operated slide scanners provide only low magnification and low resolution images and are not comparable in speed or image resolution to the high throughput, high resolution scanner. An automated high throughput slide scanner is an essential device when the context of the staining within a larger area of tissue is important. The slide scanning microscope can bring a dimension of omics-level throughput to image acquisition and processing of histological and immunofluorescent stained tissue and cells not currently available in Miami. Acquisition of this technology will accelerate discoveries in the laboratories of the many investigators that have demonstrated desire and need for the capabilities available in the requested instrument.

Public Health Relevance

Acquisition of this technology will enhance the research goals of the participating projects spanning diverse fields of research including, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neuroscience, immunology, microbiology, stem cells, and other fields.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)
Biomedical Research Support Shared Instrumentation Grants (S10)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-CB-T (30)I)
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Horska, Alena
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University of Miami School of Medicine
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Coral Gables
United States
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