The presentation assumes no knowledge of histology, takes about 20 minutes and covers the following topics:
We also have a live demonstration available - Live Virtual Microscope demonstration
Simply 'Register' as a 'New User' by entering the information requested and using the 'Activation Key' uobvm. If you come back to the site you would choose the 'Existing User' option in which case it will ask for the 'username' that the registration process requires you to choose.
We are currently creating a digital image archive by scanning our existing collection of high quality tissue sections that have been prepared over the last thirty years by technicians in the Departments of Anatomy and Physiology. The tissue sections have been stained using many different methods to reveal microanatomical and histological features at their best. Much of our material is very valuable and the digital archive will preserve such material in perpetuity as well as offering facilities such as on-screen annotations of the digital images and the ability to simultaneously display normal and pathological material via a 'split-screen' facility.
An example from our archive is shown below.
Small animal femur (at 8 weeks of age) showing epiphyseal plates, the site of new bone growth for elongation of bone (stained blue). Lowest available magnification. Note: inset (top right) with green square shows area being viewed in main window.
We integrate the 'virtual' microscope with traditional histology teaching so that students are able to access web-based digital images of tissue sections as well as using conventional light microscopy in laboratory-based histology practical classes. The virtual microscope is also used in lectures, for self-directed (including off-campus) learning, and for formative and summative assessment. Material that is appropriate for a wide range of students in life sciences is available, as well as specialist collections of veterinary material and oral microanatomy (example). The latter resource is used primarily by dental students in their 'virtual laboratory' learning sessions, but also by dental professionals, zoologists and comparative anatomists. This part of the archive also includes 'training slides' in histological techniques.
The ability to share the resources of the virtual microscope with other institutions, via the academic network, is an important objective of the project.