Medical Diagnostic Technologies Queensland

Virtual Microscopy

Virtual Microscopy can be defined as an artificial microscope environment, created on a personal computer, that when presented to a user has the “look-and-feel” of a real microscope.

A Virtual Microscopy system consists of two main parts: a scanning system, which digitises the microscopic specimens, and a client, which is used to browse and examine the digital specimens. The Virtual Microscopy project is broadly engaged with a number of enabling technologies and application areas capable of enhancing current best-practice in laboratory based pathology. Automated specimen digitisation and analysis is performed using a high-magnification microscope with an automated stage, together with a video camera that captures high-resolution images of the tissue and cells. These digital specimens can then be quickly and efficiently analysed on a high performance personal computer, or browsed remotely from a client computer.

This work has the potential to revolutionise a number of pathology applications including: high volume tests required for the early detection of cervical, lung, bladder and oral cancers; tele-pathology in remote areas; pathology and anatomy training; and laboratory quality assurance programs.


  1. D. Altinay and A. Bradley, An evaluation of multi-resolution microscope slide scanning algorithms, presented at the 2011 International Conference on Digital Image Computing: Techniques and Applications (DICTA 2011), Noosa Heads, Qld., Australia, 2011
  2.  Paul C. Mills, Andrew P. Bradley, Peter F. Woodall and Michael WildermothTeaching histology to first-year veterinary science students using virtual microscopy and traditional microscopy: a comparison of student responses. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education 34.2 (2007): 177-182.
  3.  Yilun Fan, Yaniv Gal and Andrew P. Bradley, Performance Analysis of three microscope slide scanning techniques, accepted to Digital Image Computing: Techniques and Applications (DICTA’13), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2013.