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J Pathol Inform. 2012;3:22. doi: 10.4103/2153-3539.96751. Epub 2012 May 28.

Review of advanced imaging techniques.

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Fischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA.


Pathology informatics encompasses digital imaging and related applications. Several specialized microscopy techniques have emerged which permit the acquisition of digital images ("optical biopsies") at high resolution. Coupled with fiber-optic and micro-optic components, some of these imaging techniques (e.g., optical coherence tomography) are now integrated with a wide range of imaging devices such as endoscopes, laparoscopes, catheters, and needles that enable imaging inside the body. These advanced imaging modalities have exciting diagnostic potential and introduce new opportunities in pathology. Therefore, it is important that pathology informaticists understand these advanced imaging techniques and the impact they have on pathology. This paper reviews several recently developed microscopic techniques, including diffraction-limited methods (e.g., confocal microscopy, 2-photon microscopy, 4Pi microscopy, and spatially modulated illumination microscopy) and subdiffraction techniques (e.g., photoactivated localization microscopy, stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy, and stimulated emission depletion microscopy). This article serves as a primer for pathology informaticists, highlighting the fundamentals and applications of advanced optical imaging techniques.


2-photon microscopy; 4Pi microscopy; advanced imaging; confocal microscopy; digital; microscopy; optical coherence tomography; optics; photoactivated localization microscopy; spatially modulated illumination microscopy; stimulated emission depletion microscopy

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