Prototype Duplication of Cytology Specimens

Period of Performance: 09/01/1993 - 02/28/1994


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Oxford Computer, Inc.
Oxford, CT 06478
Principal Investigator


Prior to our Phase I work, life-size images of cervical Pap smears and other potentially cancerous cytology specimens could not be made because of the extremely small feature sizes required. Spatial resolution smaller than the grain size of the finest film, and far smaller than the dot size of any printing process, is required to capture the fine detail that distinguishes benign cells from malignant cells if life-size images are to be made. As a result, the training of cytologists and cytotechnicians, the periodic recertification of cytology labs, and development and periodic quality assurance of automated cell recognition systems has been, and will be, hampered. Without a mass-produced set of life-size images, cell recognition accuracy is in doubt. In Phase I we developed an ultra high resolution printing process and built a prototype optical device containing 20, life-size images from cervical Pap smears. By adapting the tools of the semi-conductor and optical industries, we made black-and-white images with an intrinsic gray scale and spatial resolution of 500 line-pairs/mm -100,000 times denser per unit area than any other printing process. In Phase II we propose to add color, increase the spatial and tonal resolution, capture more images, and produce a salable device. In Phase III we propose to mass produce life-size collections of cell images for quality assurance and educational purposes.