See you at the Pathology Visions Conference

Digital pathology and telepathology are new weapons in fighting disease.  Its enablers are the Internet and microscopy automation.  At the Pathology Visions Conference in San Diego next week, we will be discussing key aspects of fast focus automation in particular.  Here's the abstract:

Advances in high-throughput, high-reliability focus automation for digital pathology

Scott Jordan
Director, NanoAutomation Technologies
PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P.

Broad adoption of digital pathology depends upon reliable and repeatable slide digitization.  In turn, repeatable/reliable whole slide imaging depends upon the ability to quickly find, hold and track focus. We discuss recent advances in piezoelectric focusing mechanisms and associated metrology of relevance to the community.

High-speed, high reliability focus optimization plays an important role in digital pathology by enabling faster capture of more repeatable images, by maintaining crisp focus during slide scanning motions, and by enabling real-time tracking over the acquisition intervals required by some emerging microscopy techniques. These attributes make focus automation a key variable in diagnostic concurrence.

Of the mechanical approaches available, piezo-actuator driven focus mechanisms combined with through-optic laser sensors offer the high-speed and high reliability required for meeting emerging demands. Piezo actuator driven mechanisms provide sub-millisecond response and can keep pace with throughput-driven methodologies.  Thus they can improve process economics in digital pathology as they have in applications like gene sequencing, semiconductor lithography and interferometric metrology.

Here we review:

  • Four types of piezo actuators
  • Reliability and speed capability of piezo actuator driven focus mechanisms
  • Focus detection technologies often used with piezo mechanisms
  • Examples of piezo deployment for high speed focus in other industries
  • Key metrics for evaluating and selecting focusing technologies
Read more articles on piezo motion devices

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