Medical Histology and Virtual Microscopy Resources
Duke University Medical School
 

 

Our slides have been scanned and digitized permitting analysis and viewing of the slides at high resolution on your computer (“Virtual Microscopy”). These webslides are delivered from a central server to your personal computer that acts as a digital microscope. On our histology website (www.duke.edu/web/histology) most of the slides will have two links to choose from, Aperio WebScope and Aperio ImageScope.

Helpful Points: 
(1) Please open only one slide at a time to prevent crashing your computer.
(2) Using a hardwire connection will speed loading of the webslides.
(3) Bring a mouse, which makes use of the VM easier and faster.
(4) Links to video tutorials on how to use Aperio WebScope and ImageScope are available in the drop down menu above or at the bottom of this page.

1. PC Users:
Aperio WebScope will open Aperio slides in Mozilla Firefox, which is the preferred browser. WebScope allows for simple viewing of the slides as well as webslide annotation (labeling of structures). However, annotations can only be saved using ImageScope, not WebScope.

Aperio ImageScope: ImageScope should be loaded on your computer. If you need a copy, the ImageScope viewer is available here. Once downloaded, launch the .exe file and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation. To view slides, go to our histology website (www.duke.edu/web/histology) using Mozilla Firefox and click the ImageScope link for the webslide you would like to view.

2. Mac users:
For exams we suggest that you use Aperio WebScope, not ImageScope. Aperio WebScope will open Aperio slides in Mozilla Firefox (the preferred browser) and allows for simple viewing of the slides as well as webslide annotation (labeling of structures) without requiring Windows. However, annotations can only be saved using ImageScope, not WebScope.

Aperio ImageScope will only work in a Windows operating system. Use VMware fusion found in your Application folder to start Windows, and then from Windows go to our histology website (www.duke.edu/web/histology) using Mozilla Firefox. ImageScope should be loaded on your computer. If you need a copy, the ImageScope viewer is available here. Once downloaded, launch the .exe file and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation. 

 

WebScope will open Aperio slides in Mozilla Firefox (on a PC or a Mac). WebScope allows for simple viewing of the slides as well as webslide annotation (labeling of structures). However, any annotations cannot be saved using WebScope, only in ImageScope.

Moving the Slide:  Place the mouse pointer over the image.  Click and drag the image by holding down the left mouse button as you move your mouse. Alternatively, the slide can be moved by clicking to the portion of the thumbnail that corresponds to the part of the slide you would like to view. If the thumbnail is not visible click the "Thumbnail" icon on the toolbar.

Changing Objectives:  You can change the magnification quickly by scrolling with your mouse wheel. Alternatively, clicking on the webslide will increase magnification. The Zoom Toolbar also allows users to quickly change magnification. If the Zoom Toolbar is not visible, click the "Zoom Toolbar" icon on the main toolbar. Maximizing the window so it fills the screen will allow you to see more of the slide at any one time.

Measuring Dimensions:  To measure distances click the Ruler Tool icon on the toolbar. Place the cursor at the edge of the object to be measured, click and hold down the left mouse button, extend the cursor to the opposite side of the object and release the mouse.  Read the displayed distance measure.  Please remember that dimensions will be extremely important for identification of specific cells, tissues, or organs.

Image Adjustment: For pale slides, it is sometimes useful to adjust the brightness and contrast for the image. These can be adjusted by clicking the "Brightness/Contrast" icon on the toolbar.

Creating Annotations: Structures of interest can be labeled using the Rectangle, Ellipse, Arrow, and Pen Tool icons on the toolbar. In addition, text boxes can be added using the Annotations icon on the toolbar and entering text into the text column that corresponds to the region that was labeled. Remember that the annotations created in WebScope cannot be saved like they can in ImageScope. If you try to save annotations by clicking the Save Annotations icon you will get a message saying the connection failed.

Bookmarking: Even though annotations cannot be saved in WebScope, a specific view can be captured using a bookmark. Click the arrowhead on the toolbar to expose the Image tab and select Custom Bookmark. A new window will appear that gives you a link that can be saved to return to the same view that is currently on your virtual microscope. Saving the text of the link and putting it into an application such as Microsoft Word allows you to quickly return to the same view.

Viewing Annotations: Annotations that have been saved to our servers and accompany a slide should be visible at low magnification and can be clicked on twice to view in more detail. Alternatively, click the Annotations icon on the toolbar and select the region of interest.

ImageScope will only operate in a Windows operating system (and with the ImageScope viewer installed).

Moving the Slide:  Place the mouse pointer over the image.  Click and drag the image by holding down the left mouse button as you move your mouse. Alternatively, the slide can be moved by clicking to the portion of the thumbnail that corresponds to the part of the slide you would like to view. If the thumbnail is not visible click the "View" tab and select "Thumbnail."

Changing Objectives:  You can change the magnification quickly by scrolling with your mouse wheel. Alternatively, double-clicking on the webslide will increase or decrease magnification. The Zoom Toolbar also allows users to quickly change magnification. If the Zoom Toolbar is not visible, click the "View" tab and select "Zoom Slider." Maximizing the window so it fills the screen will allow you to see more of the slide at any one time.

Measuring Dimensions:  To measure distances click the "Ruler Tool" icon on the toolbar. Place the cursor at the edge of the object to be measured, click and hold down the left mouse button, extend the cursor to the opposite side of the object and release the mouse.  Read the displayed distance measure.  Please remember that dimensions will be extremely important for identification of specific cells, tissues, or organs.

Image Adjustment: For pale slides, it is sometimes useful to adjust the brightness and/or contrast for the image. These can be adjusted by clicking the "Image Adjustments" icon on the toolbar. You can also adjust input/output levels of the image by clicking on the Color Curves tab in the Image Adjustments dialogue box.

Capturing Views: A specific view on the virtual microscope can be captured using the Snapshot icon (camera) on the toolbar which allows users to save the view as a TIFF or a JPEG file.

Creating Annotations: Structures of interest can be labeled using the Rectangle, Ellipse, Arrow, and Pen Tool icons on the toolbar. In addition, text boxes can be added using the Annotations icon on the toolbar to open the Annotations window and entering text in the text column that corresponds to the region that was labeled.

Saving Annotations: In order to save your annotations to your computer, click the Export Annotations to File icon in the Annotations window. Be sure to include the slide number in your file name to remember with which slide the annotation is associated. (Note: The Disk icon on the annotation window is for saving annotations to the server so you will not be able to use this feature.) To retrieve annotations that you have saved for a particular slide, open the slide in ImageScope then click on the Annotations icon on the toolbar to open the Annotations window. In the Annotations window click the Import Annotations from File icon. Browse for the saved annotation file to import it. Be sure to select the appropriate annotation file.

Viewing Instructor Annotations: Annotations that have been saved to our servers and accompany a slide should be visible at low magnification and can be clicked on twice to view in more detail. Alternatively, click the "Annotations" icon on the toolbar and click on the region of interest.

Click here for a video tutorial on using the Aperio ImageScope client to view virtual slides (NOTE: the ImageScope client is a WINDOWS-only application).

Click here for a video tutorial on using the Aperio WebScope viewer for virtual slides (NOTE: this viewer will work in any FLASH-enabled browser in either the Windows or the Mac OS).

 

Click here to submit questions or comments about this site.

 

Updated 7/29/15 - Velkey