University of Washington researchers use Amira software towards aiding the pathology of pancreatic cancer

Ronnie Das, PhD and Eric J. Seibel, PhD

For nearly 100 years, pathology for cancer diagnosis has involved a standard, but complex series of steps to process tissue biopsies procured from a patient in the clinic. Many procedures are a direct result of the fact that observation and evaluation of specimens by pathologists occur using a standard microscope (in 2D).

In 2014, the Human Photonics Laboratory at the University of Washington demonstrated that the rudimentary operations of a pathology laboratory may be replicated on whole, unsectioned tissue biopsies using microfluidics within a credit card-sized device . The device may potentially reduce the entire pathology laboratory’s infrastructure and physical footprint for 3D optical imaging of tissue biopsies . Imaging tissue biopsies (in 3D) makes utility of the entire patient specimen prior to sectioning, provides a fundamental gain in optical (diagnostic) data, and may permit initial biopsy triage and evaluation within the workflow of traditional pathology.