A. Gherardi and A. Bevilacqua
In this work we present the first method known in literature for real-time whole slide acquisition and displaying conceived for conventional non-automated microscopes. This has been achieved by building a real time mosaicing using robust features for image registration, an auto-focus algorithm for missing focus (due to non perfect alignment of the microscope’s holder) and an assisted fail recovery strategy, based on an adaptive guess of the holder position. Finally, a smart buffering framework permits to interactively displaying the mosaic. Differently from Digital Slides (DS) scanner, our software enables biologist and microscopists to build and view the growing mosaic (i.e. the DS) in real-time while looking into the microscope and inspecting the sample (this possibly overcoming the need of FDA approval), as they are accustomed to, by manually moving the stage holder of the microscope. Being our approach compliant with existing common microscope positions (provided with camera and an entry-level PC), this could contribute to disseminate the whole slide technology on the majority of small labs not endowed with DS hardware facilities. Although being conceived for histopathological slides, this technique is now being extended to work with brightfield and fluorescence images of adherent cells.