Rapid developments at all levels of microscopy, such as contrast, illumination, resolution, signal detection and data processing have occurred over the last decades and there is reason to expect that these advances will continue. However, severe limitations in accuracy, reproducibility and throughput are caused by the involvement of humans in all steps of the imaging workflow. It also poses a significant burden and workload for the researcher. To improve this situation is the biggest challenge in automation.
To limit human labor to the areas where it is really useful and adds value is the biggest challenge in automation. Limited human resources and human error cannot only be problematic in clinical and diagnostic workflows, but do also pose problems in research environments, which automation can help to resolve.
What does automation mean? Are all fully motorized microscopes of today also automated imaging systems? This article attempts an approach to what automation in imaging really means. It is more than just motorization and enhanced throughput.
* H. Wolff: Carl Zeiss Microscopy GmbH, 07745 Jena