Jones Seminar: Innovations in Slide-Free Microscopy

Richard Levenson, MD, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, UC Davis Medical Center

Friday, November 4, 2016, 3:30–4:30pm

Spanos Auditorium, Cummings Hall

How microscopes work in actual clinical pathology has not changed materially in well over a century. Recently, however, a number of new approaches that combine the utility, affordability and ease of use are beginning to emerge, and some may eventually find their way into the mainstream. One will be described in detail: Microscopy with Ultraviolet Surface Excitation. MUSE is a rapid approach for obtaining high-resolution, diagnostic-quality histological images from unsectioned thick tissue specimens. Although conventional histology requires extensive tissue processing and thin physical sectioning, this requirement can be circumvented if optically sectioned images can be acquired free from the blur contributed by out-of-focus regions. Other methods for obtaining high-quality images from thick tissue are certainly available. MUSE is notable for its optical and mechanical simplicity. Micron-deep images of the specimen surface are generated with 280-nm UV excitation provided by off-axis light-emitting diodes (LEDs).  Excitation with such short-wavelength UV light excites a wide range of exogenous dyes with very large Stokes shifts, and the resulting visible-band fluorescence images can be captured using ordinary microscopic optics and standard CMOS or CCD cameras.

These fluorescence images can then be converted computationally to resemble conventional hematoxylin- and eosin-staining. Preparing a sample for MUSE imaging can be performed in around a minute. With appropriate stage travel, extended fields of view can be captured from whole organs with microscopic detail. This non-destructive process leaves the sample intact for subsequent downstream molecular or genetic analysis. In addition, images can include shading and depth cues that reveal surface profiles important in understanding the three-dimensional organization of complex specimens. This inexpensive, rapid and slide-free, sample-sparing method has potential to replace frozen sections, and may have other applications in both high- and low-resource settings.

About the Speaker

Richard Levenson, MD, FCAP, is Professor and Vice Chair for Strategic Technologies in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UC Davis. He trained in medicine at University of Michigan and pathology at Washington University, and is Board-certified in Anatomic Pathology. A faculty position at Duke was followed by an appointment at Carnegie Mellon University where he helped develop multispectral imaging approaches for pathology and biology. In 1999, he joined CRI to become VP of Research, and served as Principal Investigator on federally funded research to develop multispectral microscopy systems and software for molecular pathology and diagnostics, three-dimensional small-animal imaging, optical dynamic contrast techniques, and birefringence microscopy. He serves on NIH, NCI and NSF review panels, is associate editor of Analytical Cellular Pathology, section editor for Archives of Pathology, and is on the editorial boards of Laboratory Investigation, Cytometry Part A, and Oncopathology.

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