Digital Microscopy, Image Analysis, and Virtual Slide Repository

Famke Aeffner, Hibret A. Adissu, Michael C. Boyle, Robert D. Cardiff, Erik Hagendorn, Mark J. Hoenerhoff, Robert Klopfleisch, Susan Newbigging, Dirk Schaudien, Oliver Turner, Kristin Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Advancements in technology and digitization have ushered in novel ways of enhancing tissue-based research via digital microscopy and image analysis. Whole slide imaging scanners enable digitization of histology slides to be stored in virtual slide repositories and to be viewed via computers instead of microscopes. Easier and faster sharing of histologic images for teaching and consultation, improved storage and preservation of quality of stained slides, and annotation of features of interest in the digital slides are just a few of the advantages of this technology. Combined with the development of software for digital image analysis, digital slides further pave the way for the development of tools that extract quantitative data from tissue-based studies. This review introduces digital microscopy and pathology, and addresses technical and scientific considerations in slide scanning, quantitative image analysis, and slide repositories. It also highlights the current state of the technology and factors that need to be taken into account to insure optimal utility, including preanalytical considerations and the importance of involving a pathologist in all major steps along the digital microscopy and pathology workflow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-79
Number of pages14
JournalILAR Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • deep learning
  • image analysis
  • slide repository
  • slide scanner
  • stereology
  • virtual microscopy
  • whole-slide imaging
  • whole-slide scanning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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