Virtual Microscopy Core Facility

The Wake Forest School of Medicine’s Virtual Microscopy Core facility houses state-of-the-art digital technology to create virtual images of glass slides for teaching, research and archival use. The images can be used by individuals or shared by groups and can be incorporated into teleconferences.

“This technology is replacing the need for people to use a microscope to view slides,” said Shadi Qasem, MD, past director of the department’s Virtual Microscopy Core (VMC), a virtual imaging lab that provides services across our institution as well as to external clients. “Physicians, researchers and students can now view slides wherever they have a computer or mobile device and an Internet connection.”

Virtual microscopy offers unprecedented slide-sharing possibilities, makes archives searchable, alleviates physical storage problems, and eliminates breakage or deterioration from aging.

The VMCore hardware includes the Olympus VS-110 Virtual Imaging System and a Hammamatsu NanoZoomer.

Software currently available includes:

The VMC lab features two state-of-the-art scanners to convert slides into digital images. One handles high-volume projects, such as clinical trials with many subjects. It can scan 210 slides in 15 hours, unattended. The other scanner offers greater magnification and higher resolution to produce publication-quality images. The lab provides free viewing software, and both systems allow the addition of text, circles and arrows to create presentations faster and incorporate images into PowerPoint.

For researchers, the VMC’s high-resolution equipment allows them to perform measurements and quantitative analysis more efficiently, and to capture images with the clarity, color and pixel size required by scientific journals.  Cells can also be grown on removable chambered slides, fixed and then cover-slipped.  The slides can be purchased from Sigma-Aldrich.

The VMC also serves clients outside the Medical Center, such as attorneys who rely on forensic pathology evidence in criminal and civil cases. Virtual microscopy ensures that all parties involved in these cases see the exact same evidence.
 

Image Transfer

Due to the size of resulting image scans, the core provides several transfer methods.

  • Internally, we have a secure shared network drive.
  • Externally, we can use an FTP secure server, USB external drives and CD/DVD media.
  • For out-of-town customers, slides and images will be returned via traceable delivery system (FedEX or UPS) at the expense of the requestor.

Digital Slide Imaging Request Form

Complete, print and submit the Digital Slide Imaging Request Form to the VMCore with the slides you want scanned.

Please submit a separate form for each unique imaging combination that should be applied to a set of slides.