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Originally developed in 1964 for analysing steel, the Quantimet B image analyser could also be used to measure the number of stained cells or blood cells in a sample. Samples are placed on to a slide and underneath the microscope, which in turn projects an image on to the screen of the television Once the detector has found the specific items selected by the user, the screen displays the results. An additional computer can be set to measure the number of features and their sizes. Automated machines can perform time-consuming analysis quickly and easily and are now routinely used in research laboratories for investigations of the structure of DNA. As this instrument shows, devices for automated biochemistry had been pioneered in the 1960s for hospital use. The Quantimet range was made and developed by Metals Research Ltd. The image analyser was donated to the Science Museum’s collections by the Department of Cytology at Charing Cross Hospital. It is shown here with a Cytoscreen cell scanner (9999-8038/2).

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Glossary: image analyser

consisting of a microscope, camera and detection unit; used to analyse and measure selected componets in an image