FIBI (Fluorescence Imitating Brightfield Imaging) for rapid, slide-free dermatopathology

Published in Journal of Cutaneous Pathology, 2022

Fluorescence imitating brightfield imaging (FIBI) is a novel alternative microscopy method that can image freshly excised, non-sectioned tissue. We examine its potential utility in dermatopathology by examining readily available specimens embedded in paraffin blocks.

Nine skin samples embedded in paraffin blocks were superficially deparaffinized using xylene and ethanol and stained with H&E. FIBI captured tissue surface histopathology images using simple microscope optics and a color camera. We then applied deep-learning-based models to improve resemblance to standard H&E coloration and contrast. FIBI images were compared with corresponding standard H&E slides and concordance was assessed by two dermatopathologists who numerically scored epidermal and dermal structure appearance and overall diagnostic utility.

Dermatopathologist scores indicate that FIBI images are at least equivalent to standard H&E slides for visualizing structures such as epidermal layers, sweat glands, and nerves.

Images acquired with FIBI are comparable to traditional H&E-stained slides, suggesting that this rapid, inexpensive, and non-destructive microscopy technique is a conceivable alternative to standard histopathology processes especially for time-sensitive procedures and in settings with limited histopathology resources.