Use your microscope as a scanner – Fraunhofer iSTIX® software now available through VMscope GmbH


Berlin/Erlangen: Berlin-based VMscope GmbH licenses and distributes iSTIX® developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS. The software allows for any camera-equipped microscope to be used as a manual whole-slide scanner for the digitization of glass slides, materials, surfaces or other microscopic structures. It is compatible with any microscope and camera and integrates seamlessly into the current microscope-centered workflow.

© Fraunhofer IIS
Left Monitor: Home screen with live feed left and album view of previously recorded slides right. Right Monitor: Recording view with live feed as picture-in-picture in the top-right corner. The green rectangle in the scene shows where the current image has been added to the panorama.

At the heart of the software, a robust image registration technology developed by Fraunhofer IIS analyzes and processes the microscope camera’s high-resolution video feed in realtime. iSTIX® sees exactly the same field-of-view as the user does by looking through the microscope’s eyepiece. The algorithm fuses the individual image tiles together into a panorama – a so-called Whole Slide Image (WSI). The advantage over a full-scale digital slide scanner is that the user can simply scan only the relevant regions instead of digitizing the entire slide wasting space on the hard-drive. With iSTIX® anyone can now upgrade their microscopes into scanners.

“I am convinced that we increased our value offer immensely by integrating iSTIX® into our portfolio”, states Kai Saeger, CEO VMscope GmbH. “iSTIX® and our Cognition Master Professional Suite complement each other perfectly. In a matter of seconds our customers are now able to scan a tissue sample and analyze it with our set of modules, such as the popular Ki67 tumor marker quantifier.”

VMscope GmbH was founded as a spin-off of the Institute for Pathology of the renowned Charité hospital, Berlin, in 2004. The team develops and distributes software solutions for virtual microscopy. The Cognition Master Professional Suite is VMscope‘s research platform for Digital Pathology and image analysis. The various plugins developed jointly with partners from the pathology community automatically analyze and quantify histological images for research purposes. Thanks to the iSTIX® Cognition Master plugin, iSTIX® interoperates seamlessly with the Cognition Master platform.

Volker Bruns, head of the business field »Medical Image Analysis and Machine Learning« at Fraunhofer IIS: “I am very happy about the partnership we entered with Kai Saeger and his team. They really know what they are doing and have built a wide network of partners and customers in the Digital Pathology community. Our collaboration has already been very fruitful so far and we are ready to integrate our products even further.”

The medical image processing research group at Fraunhofer IIS in Erlangen, Germany, carries out research in the areas of precision medicine and oncology based on quantitative analysis of histopathological images. Further research topics are virtual field-of-view expansion for microscopy, endoscopy and ophthalmoscopy as well as the development of training systems for medical applications. Please feel free to reach out with questions or contract research and development inquiries.

For further information on iSTIX®, please refer to