microDimensions launches a new version of its high precision whole slide alignment software Slidematch. With the new version users can align digital whole slide images from consecutive sections in brightfield and fluorescence mode, e.g. for the evaluation of the HER2 status of cancer patients.
While brightfield images (e.g. stained in H&E) are the primary choice for observing the morphology of the tissue, fluorescence images are better for the visualization of the cellular characteristics. Digital multiplexing of brightfield and fluorescence images can combine the benefits of both worlds while maintaining the individual characteristics of each of the modalities. Many digital pathology scanners available today are equipped to scan images in both brightfield and fluorescence mode. When using both modes for a tissue sample, adjoined sections are typically prepared and scanned separately and the resulting whole slide images (WSIs) need to be reviewed or analyzed individually. Aligning images from multiple modalities can help aggregating information from consecutive sections stained in histochemical and fluorescent dyes, e.g. protein expression and gene amplification by aligning immunohistochemical (IHC) markers with fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH). The aligned images can then be used to facilitate the visual evaluation by a pathologist or automated image analysis.
An application example is the evaluation of the HER2 status of breast cancer patients. Typically the pathological scoring of the HER2 status in breast cancer is either based on immunohistochemical IHC staining to mark the HER2 protein on the cell membrane, or on FISH to mark the HER2 ribonucleic acid (RNA) that contains the genetic information to produce the HER2 protein. By using the aligned images the scoring of HER2 protein overexpression and gene amplification could be combined to achieve a higher precision.
There is a wide range of applications conceivable for this method from cancer research and diagnosis to drug development and biomarker discovery.
Slidematch can perform the alignment of the digital slides at a very high precision only limited by the scanner resolution. The import wizard allows to load images in formats from different vendors and in different resolutions in the same batch. The new version now also supports the import of images in proprietary formats from Roche-Ventana, Olympus and PerkinElmer. The images can be stored as an aligned image series in the .svs, .tif, or .ims format for viewing or automated image analysis.
Slidematch will be presented at booth #627 at Molecular Medicine Tri-Con 2017, 20 - 22 February in San Francisco.