Complete Semi Automated Slice Workstation
Introduction The Complete Slice Workstation is used to observe or evaluate up to four tissue slices in an interface-type chamber. Interface-type chambers utilize brain tissue slices […]
The Complete Slice Workstation is used to observe or evaluate up to four tissue slices in an interface-type chamber. Interface-type chambers utilize brain tissue slices to investigate the biological basis of brain function.
The Complete Slice Workstation consists of an anti-vibration table and camera assembly mounted on a support frame. It also contains a video monitor. A slice chamber (available separately) containing the tissue slices is mounted on the anti-vibration table under the camera assembly. Four CCD cameras are mounted in the camera assembly, which can be adjusted for focus. The camera assembly can be swung upwards for easy access to the chamber. It is kept in a raised position by a gas spring strut, while a locking clamp keeps it in place in its lowered position. The cameras are powered by a quad processor and are connected to an appropriate power source. The quad processor’s output is sent to a video monitor.
The video monitor measures 17 inches and displays the images of the slices at 50× magnification in single display mode. However, it can be configured to provide a 100× magnification. When all four slices are displayed simultaneously, the magnification is decreased. This system’s lenses were selected to provide a greater working distance at higher magnifications. A correspondingly reduced field of vision is offered when this system is set for higher magnification potentials. However, greater precision in the position of the slices would be required. Therefore, each camera is adjustable for the x-y positions by up to +/- 3mm and an angular adjustment of +/- 15°.
Apparatus and Equipment
The Complete Slice Workstation is available with the following equipment:
- Support frame
- Anti-vibration table
- Quad processor
- Camera assembly 2/4 cameras (50× or 100×)
- Camera power supply
- TFT video monitor
The workstation includes the following specifications:
- Weight: 26Kg
- AV Table size:
- 600mm × 400mm
- 96 holes M8 on 50mm × 50mm pitch
- 2 rows of 12 additional holes (M8) on 25mm × 50mm pitch
- Camera system: 4 × colour camera 1/3” CCD sensor, 320K pixel PAL Video output: 1.0V p-p Composite video/ 75Ohms BNC. 12V DC. Camera pitch: 100mm nominal
- C/CS mount 16mm with 2 × 5mm spacers
- Field of view: dependent on magnification factor
The camera assembly, anti-vibration table (AV table), and stand are packaged in two subassemblies. The camera assembly is not attached to the base frame to prevent issues during transportation.
- Place the base frame on a table or bench.
- Loosen the two 8mm screws.
- Align the Tee nuts such that they will fit into the camera assembly rear’s slot.
- Lower the camera assembly over the Tee nuts with care.
- Adjust the camera assembly’s underside to fit inside the anti-vibration table’s specifications and tighten the screws to keep the post in place.
- After the slice chamber is installed on the table, the camera assembly may be vertically positioned.
- A knob on the side of the camera assembly enclosure can be used to adjust the focus of each camera.
- Completely retract each camera inside the enclosure.
- Swing the camera head enclosure upwards by slackening the clamping lever. The gas spring strut will help lift the enclosure and hold it in place after it is elevated.
- Place the slice chamber assembly on the AV table and use two clamp blocks to secure it loosely. The clamp blocks should only be utilized on the chamber’s end flanges. If you clamp the chamber by its side flanges, the chamber will be severely damaged.
- In each slice chamber, place an appropriate visual target.
- Lower the camera enclosure and pull it down to the bottom stop, then tighten the clamp lever.
- A pair of wires provide power to cameras in the camera assembly.
- Identify and attach each video camera to the quad processor. The quad processor’s video output should be linked to a video display and/or an adapter for capturing images on the computer.
- Connect the video acquisition hardware to the computer and install the software if you want to record or save images on the computer.
- Connect the camera power supply cable, the quad processor, and the video monitor to the power supply.
- Enable the quad processor to show all four pictures at the same time. The first camera focus should be adjusted until the target is clearly seen. Repeat for the other three cameras. However, for more accurate focusing, set the quad processor to display each image individually.
- Adjust the slice chamber’s position on the AV table so that each image is properly positioned beneath its camera. Tighten the clamp blocks to keep the chamber in place. Avoid overtightening the clamp screws.
- The slice chamber can now be utilized
The Complete Slice Workstation only requires occasional cleaning for maintenance. Prevent using abrasive cleansers since the majority of the components of the workstation are made of aluminum. Instead, use warm soapy water as a cleaning fluid.
Strengths and Limitations
The Complete Slice Workstation allows simultaneous observation of up to four brain tissue slices. This not only helps save time but also allows the tissue slices to be observed with up to 100× magnification directly from the interface-type chamber. The camera assembly and video monitor can clearly focus the tissue samples, eliminating the need for a microscope. Moreover, the interface-type chamber can hold living tissue slices, providing accurate analysis compared to fixing the slices on a slide. The only limitation of the workstation is that the magnification of the cameras is decreased when all four slices are displayed simultaneously. However, if increased focusing and magnification are required, each slice can be viewed individually.
- The Complete Slice Workstation is used to observe or evaluate up to four tissue slices in an interface-type chamber.
- It consists of an anti-vibration table and camera assembly mounted on a support frame. It also contains a video monitor.
- The video monitor displays the images of the slices at 50× or 100× magnification.
- The slice chamber of the workstation can hold living tissue slices, providing accurate analysis compared to fixing the slices on a slide.