FFEI's winning imaging technology

FFEI Wins Third Queen’s Award for Innovation

Life Science division’s multi-layer scanning technology for digital pathology gives depth to images and wins judge’s approval

FFEI announces that it has received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category for its development of a digital slide scanning system that has enabled significant advances in cancer diagnosis, cancer research and pathologist training.

“We are delighted to receive the Queen’s Award for Innovation,” says Andy Cook, managing director, FFEI Ltd. “The growth of our Life Science division has been built on our expertise in scanning and imaging. The success and worldwide sales of our digital slide scanner shows the value of FFEI’s approach to clinicians and pathologists.”

The system uses virtual microscopy to create high resolution 3D digital images of tissue samples mounted on standard glass slides, delivering unparalleled performance in terms of scanning speed, image quality and reliability. This is achieved using multi-layer imaging and dynamic focusing, providing pathologists an optical path specifically designed and perfected for the ‘digital eye’ of the scanning sensor.

Captured digital images can then be viewed locally on screen or instantaneously shared via the internet with colleagues and experts around the world.

“The ability to do this provides valuable information to pathologists,” Andy Cook continues. “By being able to refocus on different layers, they are better able to understand what is happening within the tissue. It’s far easier to see cellular relationships in a 3D context than comparing 2D images side by side.”

FFEI’s scanning technology is part of the legacy of its heritage which dates back to the establishment of Crosfield Electronics, in 1947, and subsequent ownership by Fujifilm Electronic Imaging. Since its launch in 2009 several hundred digital scanning systems are routinely being used in leading pathology facilities around the world.

“One of our core strengths has always been translating research into feasible concepts and taking them through to product development and manufacturing,” says Andy Cook. “We have also demonstrated the ability to apply the knowledge gained to applications in different industry sectors – from the graphic arts to medicine.”

Previous Queen’s Awards won by FFEI, both in the Innovation category, were for its Zanite drum computer-to-plate system, in 2011; and its multi-beam laser imaging technology used within computer-to-film applications in 2002.