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Methods Mol Biol. 2010;664:163-75. doi: 10.1007/978-1-60761-806-5_16.

Digital microscopy for boosting database integration and analysis in TMA studies.

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Department of Pathology and Experimental Cancer Research, Budapest, Hungary.


The enormous amount of clinical, pathological, and staining data to be linked, analyzed, and correlated in a tissue microarray (TMA) project makes digital slides ideal to be integrated into TMA database systems. With the help of a computer and dedicated software tools, digital slides offer dynamic access to microscopic information at any magnification with easy navigation, annotation, measurement, and archiving features. Advanced slide scanners work both in transmitted light and fluorescent modes to support biomarker testing with immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence or fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Currently, computer-driven integrated systems are available for creating TMAs, digitalizing TMA slides, linking sample and staining data, and analyzing their results. Digital signals permit image segmentation along color, intensity, and size for automated object quantification where digital slides offer superior imaging features and batch processing. In this chapter, the workflow and the advantages of digital TMA projects are demonstrated through the project-based MIRAX system developed by 3DHISTECH and supported by Zeiss.The enhanced features of digital slides compared with those of still images can boost integration and intelligence in TMA database management systems, offering essential support for high-throughput biomarker testing, for example, in tumor progression/prognosis, drug discovery, and target therapy research.

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