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Stemmer Imaging Part of Automated Microtome System Development Consortium
STEMMER IMAGING is one of seven partners from England, Spain and Germany comprising the MICROLEAN project to develop a retrofitable automated microtome system for histology.
This 24-month project, funded from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7-SME-2013), will incorporate a contactless sample transportation system for histology.
Histology, the microscopic examination of cell tissue samples, is an essential component in the early detection of diseases such as cancer. Total pathology services, of which histology is an important part, costs the UK’s NHS an estimated £2.5 billion per annum, of which the single most expensive element is the labour cost. Automation of the sample sectioning, or microtomy, (producing 4 µm thick slices) stage in histology could go a long way to reducing these costs.
Mark Williamson, Director – Corporate Market Development at STEMMER IMAGING, explains: “While the sample preparation and sample staining stages of histology have been successfully automated or semi-automated, the microtomy stage not only remains labour intensive, but requires a skilled Histologist who may require up to a year’s training. The MICROLEAN project aims to automate this process and vision technology has a key role to play.”
“STEMMER IMAGING will support the project in the development of the vision system using smart cameras for monitoring the samples and the sectioning process,” he continued. “The project will be able to make use of components from our extensive portfolio of imaging products, including the newly developed ‘Medical Video Server’. We will also be able to contribute our considerable expertise in recording, managing and display any common video source and distributing the data via LAN/WAN for HD video streaming over a network.”