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A new wide field-of-view confocal imaging system and its applications in drug discovery and pathology

nscripts in each sample, enabling an estimate of the relative expression levels of the genes in samples and control populations.35

1.2.2. Tissue and tissue microarray

Tissue specimens are usually prepared on a standard microscope slide after fixing, embedding, and staining, for the study of anatomical or molecular biology changes in diseased tissue.36 The tissue microarray (TMA) technique enables researchers to extract small cylinders of tissue from histological blocks and arrange them in a matrix configuration in a recipient paraffin block, such that hundreds or even thousands can be analyzed simultaneously for morphological or molecular changes.37, 38 The advantages of TMA technology are that it allows simultaneous analysis and high-throughput data acquisition, and amplification of limited tissue resources by providing the means for producing large numbers of small core biopsies, and each specimen can be treated in an identical manner.34, 39

Most of the TMA technology comes from the field of cancer research.37 TMAs can be used for clinical investigation of candidate genes and their proteins identified by molecular biology techniques, such as DNA microarrays.38 By revealing the cellular localization, prevalence and clinical significance of candidate genes, TMAs are ideally suitable for genomics-based diagnostics and drug target discovery.

1.2.3. Pathology, drug discovery, and light microscopy

Light microscopy is routinely used in the examination of diseased tissues, cells and fluids on glass slides, for assessing the pathologic changes, and much of the pathology involves the study of cells.36 Since the invention of compound microscopes in the 18th century, and the development of microtomes
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