The solution to scaling up pathology operations – no matter the laboratory size

Aperio GT 450 DX

Over the last several years, digital pathology engineers at Leica Biosystems have tried many technologies to help achieve highspeed line scanning at 40x* magnification – with some proving more promising than others. But when they took a novel approach to real-time focusing (RTF), they hit upon a breakthrough – and a successful patent application (USPTO patent #9,841,590). RTF has been put to good use – joining an extensive portfolio of Leica Biosystems patents in its next-generation digital pathology scanner: the Aperio GT 450 DX.

RTF uses an imaging line sensor and a focusing line sensor to capture digital images of a slide. While scanning, the focusing line sensor receives focusing data from the tissue; meanwhile, the proprietary algorithms determine the best-focus value in a graphics processing unit in real time. Through a control loop, each best-focus value is fed to the objective position on the fly – allowing continuous image capture at the best possible focus.

By visiting pathologists in high-volume anatomic pathology laboratories around the world, the Leica Biosystems product development team saw firsthand the barriers they faced in scaling up digital pathology operations. A common theme quickly emerged: current technologies’ scan speeds were not fast enough at 40x magnification to keep up with high-volume (over 120,000 slides per year) scanning. If high-volume labs wanted to increase workflow efficiency through digital pathology, they were limited to adopting digital for only one or two organs – for instance, breast or prostate samples. RTF offers the solution to this growing problem – the potential to scale up digital pathology operations even in high-volume labs.

By employing Leica Biosystems RTF, labs can achieve scan speeds at 40x* while maintaining excellent focus on the tissue sample. With continuous loading, no-touch operation, and 32-second scan time at 40x*, the benefit of this innovation is clear: the Aperio GT 450 DX with RTF delivers improved throughputs, reduced turnaround time, and a high-quality image viewing experience to enable healthcare organizations to significantly scale up digital pathology operations – no matter the size of lab or workload – so they can meet ever-increasing demands without sacrificing quality. *15 mm by 15 mm tissue area.

For in vitro diagnostic use. The clinical use claims described for the products in the information supplied have not been cleared or approved by the U.S. FDA or are not available in the United States.