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Deep learning-based virtual histology staining using auto-fluorescence of label-free tissue

by   Yair Rivenson, et al.

Histological analysis of tissue samples is one of the most widely used methods for disease diagnosis. After taking a sample from a patient, it goes through a lengthy and laborious preparation, which stains the tissue to visualize different histological features under a microscope. Here, we demonstrate a label-free approach to create a virtually-stained microscopic image using a single wide-field auto-fluorescence image of an unlabeled tissue sample, bypassing the standard histochemical staining process, saving time and cost. This method is based on deep learning, and uses a convolutional neural network trained using a generative adversarial network model to transform an auto-fluorescence image of an unlabeled tissue section into an image that is equivalent to the bright-field image of the stained-version of the same sample. We validated this method by successfully creating virtually-stained microscopic images of human tissue samples, including sections of salivary gland, thyroid, kidney, liver and lung tissue, also covering three different stains. This label-free virtual-staining method eliminates cumbersome and costly histochemical staining procedures, and would significantly simplify tissue preparation in pathology and histology fields.


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