New applications in histology and geology with ZEISS Axio Scan.Z1 slide scanner
ZEISS Axio Scan.Z1 is your fast and reliable slide scanner for brightfield and fluorescence microscopy. Superior ZEISS components guarantee the excellence of your images, giving you virtual slides of a consistently high quality even when capturing fluorescence images at unprecedented speed.
Axio Scan.Z1 already excels at applications ranging from pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s, cancer research, ADME/toxicology, fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH), target identification, immunological response to allografts and xenografts, neurotrauma research, tissue microarrays, and biomedical contract research – just to name a few. With two recent Technology Notes we demonstrate new applications in high-throughput cryohistology and geological slide imaging.
High Throughput Cryohistology of Mineralized Tissue
The fundamental contribution of histology to the field of genomics is the ability to associate a specific molecular / chemical signal to a regional domain or cell type. For example, demonstrating that an expressed RNA obtained from a whole tissue extract is localized to one cell type and the encoded protein is also present either within or around these cells provides the needed detail for interpreting an RNA expression study. Histological methods utilizing a variety of molecular probes exist to record these responses in tissue section but the integration of multiple measures to a specific cell or region is difficult. Despite the rich and expanding source of probes for interrogating a tissue sample, the traditional histological tools for discriminating tissue heterogeneity are still primarily based on chromogenic chemical stains, which can mask the activity of some probes.
A two-step process of biological probe followed by the chromogenic stain is used to localize the position of the probe signal to the histological section. However, multiple sequential probing steps need to be performed on adjacent tissue sections with the expectation that both probes will align with the closely related morphological features. These steps are labor intensive and are usually not readily adaptable to image analysis because of the difficulty of aligning the probe signal obtained from multiple tissue slices. Some improvements in extracting multiple signals from a section have been achieved with both high content analysis of wide field and confocal scanning microscopes, but the limitation of repeated probing and imaging of the same section remains a significant technical hurdle without automated imaging and analysis.
Nathaniel A. Dyment, Xi Jiang, Li Chen, Seung-Hyun Hong, Douglas J. Adams, Dong-Guk Shin, David W. Rowe (University of Connecticut Health Center) and Cheryl Ackert-Bicknell (University of Rochester Medical Center) recently published an investigation of the development of tendon attachment to bone in young mice using repeated rounds of staining and imaging of a single tissue section. They also utilize these methods in addition to automated dynamic
histomorphometry measurements to phenotype the skeleton of mice. In our Technology Note the authors detail the cryohistology protocol they used with ZEISS Axio Scan.Z1 and demonstrate the specific advantages of their protocol.
High Throughput Imaging of Geological Slides
Thin section microscopy can be described as a small sample but with a high information value. Petrographic analysis of thin sections with a polarizing light microscope provide the geologist with an in-depth look into the chemical and physical properties of a particular rock sample, e.g. a detailed description of the texture, composition of minerals, sedimentary structures, grain framework and types and distribution of the porosity. With this information, the geologist is
able to study the details and relationships of sediments that have a direct impact on a large number of exploration problems.
Additional micro paleontological examinations of thin sections can be used for biostratigraphy and paleoenvironmental analyses. Micro- and nano-fossils in sedimentary rocks were used to determine the age of the rock formation and to draw relationships between the different drillings. Combined with seismic profiles and other geological data sets, these tools were used to search for hydrocarbons in exploration and to analyze the character of the reservoir.
The microscopical examination of thin sectioned and polished geological samples with a polarized light microscope is a well-known technique. Nowadays, because of increasing demand from the oil and gas industry, higher throughput in processing and digitalizing samples must be achieved. In recent years, fully automated and boxed systems, such as ZEISS Axio Scan.Z1, have been developed. The development of these new microscope types has made it possible to achieve a much higher throughput in digitizing and analyzing thin sections.
ZEISS Axio Scan.Z1
Digitize your specimens and create high-quality virtual slides the reliable, reproducible way – with Axio Scan.Z1. Superior ZEISS components guarantee the excellence of your images, giving you virtual slides of a consistently high quality even when capturing fluorescence images at unprecedented speed.
Highly automated and simple to operate, Axio Scan.Z1 tackles the most demanding virtual microscopy research tasks as easily as it handles your routine work. The software module ZEN slidescan is designed specifically for the workflow of capturing virtual slides, while ZEN image analysis tools prepare your data accurately.
Organize your virtual slides with ZEN browser, the web-based database, then view your data from any location using any operating system — or share virtual microscopy images online with colleagues and organize your projects, even when you are on the go.