Samples and Measurements

European and international communities are discussing a minimal set of QC measurements with a view to compile a list or priorities and define methodologies for their measurement. The primary aim of this FIG is to discuss and collate the views of the UK microscopist community on the topic of microscope quality control and feed them back into the ongoing global discussions. This website, RMS FIG and email list will help to communicate future developments.

Measurements. Here we propose for consideration the following as minimal measurements that should be performed on a regular basis.  Ideally, some of these tests will be: encompassed within the system hardware and software; comparable between manufacturers, and written to image metadata.


Analysis concepts. For any proposed microscope QC solution to be embraced by the community, we believe that it must:

  1. Be applicable across all experience levels (not all microscope custodians are microscopists)
  2. Be time-efficient (automated image capture & analysis)
  3. Be pan-manufacturer and system compatible
  4. Allow microscope performance to be tracked and reported over time
  5. Be reproducible to allow intra- and inter-system comparisons to be made
  6. Be affordable
  • Concept for independent cloud-based microscope QC evaluation, storage and reporting software tool. Requires:
    • A QC standard sample(s)
    • QC image capture software macro to allow automated capture of standard sample images
    • Cloud or server to host the QC analysis software, images and database
  • Concept for inbuilt (into acquisition software) microscope QC evaluation tool. Requires:
    • A QC standard sample(s)
    • QC image capture software macro to allow automated capture of standard sample images
    • Inbuilt (into the microscope control software) analysis and reporting functions
    • Offline method to database and track microscope performance

It is clear that for any of these concepts to be enabled requires coordination between the community, standard sample manufacturers, software developers and microscope manufactures. The aim being to automate the capture, analysis and databasing of QC data.

The Argolight Daybook 2 software in combination with one of their standard slides does address a number of the conceptual aims and represents a start.