Hybrid Film/Digital Workflow in Electron Microscopy
CW Zuppan. Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA
Background: Newer electron microscopes utilize in-column digital cameras to initiate a total digital workflow for the imaging of electron microscopic findings. However, upgrading of existing older microscopes for digital image capture of sufficient quality for clinical diagnosis is expensive, on the order of $60,000 to $100,000. We have switched our laboratory from an all photographic to a hybrid film/digital workflow, and herein report our results.
Design: Our former full photographic workflow consisted of photographic development of large format film negatives, followed by traditional photographic enlargement and printing on 8 x 10 glossy photopaper. Our new hybrid workflow consists of photographic development of large format negatives, followed by scanning of negatives on a flatbed scanner, digital manipulation and labeling of the negatives in Photoshop, and printing of the final images on glossy 8 x 10 paper utilizing an ink-jet printer. As photographic development of the negatives was included in both our original (photographic) workflow and our new hybrid workflow, the time for that part of the process was not tracked.
Results: Post-negative time to final image was slightly longer with the hybrid workflow (6.3 versus 5.8 minutes/image), but personnel hands-on time was less (2.7 versus 5.8 minutes). Part of this time saving allowed for multitasking in the laboratory while some of the longer processes (scanning and final printing) were occurring. The quality of the final prints was subjectively improved, and the response of technical laboratory personnel to the new workflow was enthusiastic.
Conclusions: If upgrading to a full-digital image workflow is not financially feasible, we highly recommend transitioning to a hybrid film/digital workflow as an intermediary step. Overall time requirements are similar or slightly less than a full-photographic workflow, and consistent print quality is more easily achieved.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 9:30 AM
Poster Session V # 263, Wednesday Morning