Virtual microscopy is a method of posting microscope images on, and transmitting them over, computer networks. This allows independent viewing of images by large numbers of people in diverse locations. It involves a synthesis of microscopy technologies and digital technologies.
Prior to recent advances in virtual microscopy, slides were commonly digitized by various forms of film scanner and image resolutions rarely exceeded 5000 dpi. Nowadays, it is possible to achieve more than 100,000 dpi and thus resolutions approaching that visible under the optical microscope. This increase in scanning resolution comes at a price; whereas a typical flatbed or film scanner ranges in cost from $200 to $600, a 100,000 dpi slide scanner will range from $80,000 to $200,000.
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