Current Software Architecture
The basic software architecture of the automated microscopy system is shown in figure 1. Specification of slide to scan and the location to store the images etc are received from the user. Visual Basic then interacts with ScopeTool, IC_PCI frame grabber to complete the scan. ScopeTool Active X components are responsible for the automatic movement of the stage in X, Y and Z directions. IC_PCI frame grabber card is used to connect the CCD camera placed on the microscope to the computer system. It is responsible for capturing and saving the images. MatLab image processing tool box is used for image processing operations.
The field of view of camera is 930 microns in X direction, and 695 microns in Y direction. While taking images the microscope stage is moved in steps of 900 microns (X offset) in X direction and 650 microns (Y offset) in Y direction. Thus, there is a 30 micron overlap in X direction and 50 micron overlap in Y direction.
The automated microscope first searches for the cover slip. Then, does the prescan of the slide at 10X magnification to locate the metaphases. Finally, metaphase capture scan is done to take the images of the metaphases at 100X magnification. Before taking an image it is focused automatically using Autofocus routine.