Aperio scores patent for 3D digital slides

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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued Aperio Technologies a patent for creating and viewing 3D virtual slides.
U.S. patent 7,463,761 includes claims for the general technique of acquiring 2D digital slide images, and using this 2D image as a map for subsequently acquiring 3D images known as z-stacks, Aperio said.

“The ability to create and view z-stacks while a glass slide is still in the scanner is critical for specimens that have multiple focal planes, such as frozen sections for example,” said Ole Eichhorn, Aperio’s chief technical officer.

The ’761 patent also includes claims for the high-performance remote viewing of 3D digital slides across a network, including the internet.

The ability to create and view 3D whole slide images makes it possible for Aperio to extend the benefits of digital pathology to the field of cytology, including Pap smears, according to Dirk Soenksen, CEO of Aperio.

“The recent expansion of our patent portfolio to encompass TDI-, fluorescence- and 3D-scanning, viewing, and analysis continues to reassure customers that Aperio has the broadest freedom to operate in all niches of digital pathology,” he added.