Across all scientific disciplines, if researchers want to get as much information about their samples as possible, they need to connect imaging modalities, images, and data. Solutions that enable the information flow from images to data will become more and more important to increase scientific output. It is still a challenge to find answers to scientific questions, in particular when the answers require images and data from multiple instruments.
The question is now: How can all the images and data obtained with different imaging modalities – often -spanning several scales – be connected and correlated in an efficient way? What if a user needs to investigate specific cells, or even subcellular structures in large tissues or model organisms? It has become common knowledge that knowing where exactly a cell is located in respect to neighboring cells, orientation in the tissue, and distance to other tissues, adds great value to “just” knowing the cell’s phenotype. What is needed is a map of these cells in a larger context with the possibility to re-locate them on another instrument. If one does not have a solution at hand that keeps track of regions of interest within different coordinate systems on multiple instruments, this can actually become a task similar to finding multiple needles in a haystack, and then drawing a map of this by hand.
ZEISS ZEN Connect, a project-based and sample-centric solution, integrates images and metadata from different instruments and areas in specimens to facilitate these workflows. This brings together different imaging modalities and resolution domains – from large field of view, low magnification widefield, over high resolution confocal, and super-resolution light microscopy to nanometer resolution electron microscopy data. The software module can now bring a whole portfolio of imaging technologies – ZEISS or non-ZEISS – and even any digital image together. Identified sample regions in one imaging modality can be easily re-located with any ZEISS microscope. That’s why ZEISS ZEN Connect saves time and increases productivity.