An automated slide scanning system for membrane filter imaging in diagnosis of urogenital schistosomiasis

P.O. Oyibo, T.E. Agbana, Lisette van Lieshout, Wellington Oyibo, J.C. Diehl, Gleb Vdovin

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Traditionally, automated slide scanning involves capturing a rectangular grid of field-of-view (FoV) images which can be stitched together to create whole slide images, while the autofocusing algorithm captures a focal stack of images
to determine the best in-focus image. However, these methods can be timeconsuming due to the need for X-, Y- and Z-axis movements of the digital microscope while capturing multiple FoV images. In this paper, we propose a solution to minimise these redundancies by presenting an optimal procedure for automated slide scanning of circular membrane filters on a glass slide. We achieve this by following an optimal path in the sample plane, ensuring that only FoVs overlapping the filter membrane are captured. To capture the best infocus FoV image, we utilise a hill-climbing approach that tracks the peak of the mean of Gaussian gradient of the captured FoVs images along the Z-axis. We implemented this procedure to optimise the efficiency of the Schistoscope, an automated digital microscope developed to diagnose urogenital schistosomiasis by imaging Schistosoma haematobium eggs on 13 or 25 mm membrane filters. Our improved method reduces the automated slide scanning time by 63.18%and 72.52% for the respective filter sizes. This advancement greatly supportsthe practicality of the Schistoscope in large-scale schistosomiasis monitoringand evaluation programs in endemic regions. This will save time, resources andalso accelerate generation of data that is critical in achieving the targets for schistosomiasis elimination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-61
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Microscopy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • autofocusing
  • automated slide scanning
  • digital microscope
  • schistosomiasis
  • whole slide imaging This


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