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All-optical label-free human breast tissue block histology using photoacoustic remote sensing

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Abstract

The direct imaging of tissue preserved in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) blocks remains a challenge. There are presently millions of tissues preserved as FFPE blocks whose assessment via bright-field microscopes requires them to be sectioned and subsequently stained. These processes are laborious, resource-intensive, and time consuming. In this Letter, we utilize an ultraviolet laser with photoacoustic remote sensing to provide a novel method that enables direct label-free pathological assessment of FFPE blocks. We demonstrate the efficacy of this technique by imaging human breast tissue, highlighting salient features such as ducts, adipocytes, and ductal hyperplasia. This direct imaging of FFPE blocks facilitates pathological assessment much earlier in the histopathological workflow, saving valuable time in clinical and research settings. The presented non-contact label-free reflection-mode device enables augmentation of existing histopathological workflows and aims to expand the arsenal of imaging technologies available to clinicians.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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