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Analytical Cellular Pathology
Volume 36 (2013), Issue 1-2, Pages 45-59

The Impact of the Condenser on Cytogenetic Image Quality in Digital Microscope System

Liqiang Ren,1 Zheng Li,1 Yuhua Li,1 Bin Zheng,2 Shibo Li,3 Xiaodong Chen,4 and Hong Liu1

1Center for Bioengineering and School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA
2Deptartment of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
3Department of Pediatrics and Department of Pathology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, USA
4College of Precision Instruments and Opto-electronics Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China

Copyright © 2013 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background: Optimizing operational parameters of the digital microscope system is an important technique to acquire high quality cytogenetic images and facilitate the process of karyotyping so that the efficiency and accuracy of diagnosis can be improved.

OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the impact of the condenser on cytogenetic image quality and system working performance using a prototype digital microscope image scanning system.

Methods: Both theoretical analysis and experimental validations through objectively evaluating a resolution test chart and subjectively observing large numbers of specimen were conducted.

Results: The results show that the optimal image quality and large depth of field (DOF) are simultaneously obtained when the numerical aperture of condenser is set as 60%–70% of the corresponding objective. Under this condition, more analyzable chromosomes and diagnostic information are obtained. As a result, the system shows higher working stability and less restriction for the implementation of algorithms such as autofocusing especially when the system is designed to achieve high throughput continuous image scanning.

Conclusions: Although the above quantitative results were obtained using a specific prototype system under the experimental conditions reported in this paper, the presented evaluation methodologies can provide valuable guidelines for optimizing operational parameters in cytogenetic imaging using the high throughput continuous scanning microscopes in clinical practice.