Ulysses J. Balis, M.D., University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI and Thomas J. Flotte, M.D. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Optical microscopy remains a fundamental tool in the service of anatomic pathology. Concomitant with this reality is a growing plurality of optical and computational technologies that hold the promise for further advancing the utility of microscopy for diagnostic, prognostic, consultative and educational activities. Despite this reality, most pathologists have not been presented with the opportunity to obtain expanded knowledge of this important topic; neither during their training or later in their careers. Similarly recognizing that many pathologists are given the opportunity to purchase a new microscope only a limited number of times in their careers, there is further motivation for pathologists to have at their command an appropriately thorough knowledge level in this field.
In reference to the above motivations, this course will provide the required background and overall framework which should empower pathologists to be able to make optimal choices with respect to the selection of both their base optical platform and, in addition, those modules and features that would be needed to support sub-specialized microscopic techniques. In expanded fashion from the 2009 presentation, greater emphasis will be placed on providing a working understanding of core microscopic principles, which will be further enhanced by a review the most important aspects of microscopy as applied to use-cases in pathology settings. Finally, a review will be provided of functional tradeoffs encountered with component selection and the associated cost-versus-benefit associated with such choices.
As an enabling condition for the more detailed discussions to follow, this course will open with an overview of salient optical theory as it applies to microscopy. This section will include coverage of: classic optics, parts of the microscope and what they do, aberration and Köhler illumination. Extensive coverage will be provided for fluorescence microscopy and quantitative imaging techniques, as these are rapidly becoming de regure competencies for routine surgical pathology. Knowledge of these fundamental concepts will then allow the participant to more effectively grasp subsequent coverage of the numerous more specialized technical developments in microscopy including: digital photomicrography, optical resolution and operation, digital capture technology and camera selection.
Finally, the course will conclude with a section on the most recent and promising technologies and methodologies and post-capture computational processing transformations that are relevant to both diagnostic and prognostic use-cases, including: whole slide scanning, multispectral imaging, multiplexed in situ hybridization and finally, image searching / content-based image retrieval. This section will make use of both didactic material and interactive demonstrations to highlight concepts of interest.
Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to: 1) understand the basic optical principles contributing towards the overall operation of a light microscope, 2) understand the different options available in the catalogs of the microscope manufacturers, 3) gain understanding with effective methods on use of microscopy for both observation and photography, 3) gain understanding of the plurality of new techniques emerging in modern microscopy, 4) have basic knowledge of methods of in vivo microscopy and 5) gain familiarity with the growing repertoire of digital microscopic methodologies and transformations including transport, storage and search technologies.
The course is designed for residents, fellows and general pathologists. A comprehensive syllabus will be distributed at the course. After the meeting, a CD-ROM of representative course material will be mailed to all registrants for the course and additionally, a website will be made available, providing access to supporting educational material with interactive demonstrations, and representative open-source digital data transformation tools which will be similar to those that are to be featured in the presentation.