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Taking microscope analysis to the next level

Béla Molnár

Hungarian inventor Béla Molnár and his company, Budapest-based 3DHistech developed a digital slide scanner solution that is capable of rapid and efficient focusing, which is essential for the high-speed digitisation of microscope slides. It enables diagnoses to be faster and more precise, therefore enabling improved medical treatment.

Inventor: Béla Molnár (et al.), Hungary

Invention: A digital slide scanner capable of rapid and efficient focusing

Company: 3DHISTECH Ltd.

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The analysis of tissue sections is an important field of medical diagnostics. Using conventional optical microscopy to analyse slides, however, leads to diagnostic errors due to incomplete sampling.

Furthermore, a growing number of diagnostic tests have to be completed in medical facilities every day, while also maintaining or even raising the quality level. Paired with the emerging diagnostic techniques and the inevitable cost rationalisation, this poses an increasing significant challenge to the traditional diagnostic workflow. Patients, on the other side, want to have reliable diagnostic test results quickly.

These shortcomings of diagnostics based on conventional optical microscopy can be overcome with Molnár's digital slide scanner. It is capable of rapid and efficient focusing, which is essential for the high-speed, high-quality digitisation of microscope slides.

Achieving greater digitisation speed is made possible in two ways: The first way is by reducing the mass that needs to be moved together with the slide, thereby reducing the number of displacements. The second way, is by using optimised software algorithms for focusing results in the moving mass that do not need to be stopped and started again too many times - a method which also maintains the quality of the images.

The digital slide scanner is a breakthrough in the development of imaging systems used in medical diagnosis. This digital slide technology is a vital tool for many medical researchers and doctors, including pathologists who analyse patient tissue samples for the presence of serious diseases, such as cancer.

The digital microscope slides created by using Molnár's invention not only equip doctors with valuable information about their patients - the digital information can also be easily and quickly shared to link doctors with far-away experts who have treated similar illnesses and can study the same tissue section on their monitor in real-time.

Thanks to the type of technology that Molnár and his colleagues offer, analysing samples will become faster, more affordable and, due to the nature of digital information, easily retrievable from anywhere in the world.

There is no doubt that virtual microscopy opens a new world in tissue-based diagnosis by offering high-speed and high-quality digitisation and software-aided analysis of medical samples. However, the technology is not limited to medical diagnosis-- it can be effectively used in pharmaceutical research and education as well.

Molnár's impressive track record has been honoured in the form of different awards, including the prestigious Hungarian Grand Prize for Innovation award in 2004 for his work in virtual microscopy and digital histology.

Since then, 3DHistechhas become a globally recognised name. The company has sold more than 400 virtual microscopy products (digital slide scanners and software applications) within ten years - the second largest market share in the world. Recently, 3DHistech has started to broaden its portfolio from products solely for diagnosis to solutions in digital pathology.