Apart from routine clinical pathology and research, digital microscopy solutions can be useful in a completely different field: geology. One specific field of geology where digital slide scanners have already proven themselves is palynology, a field of study used in petroleum exploration.
Palynology is the study of microscopic objects of macromolecular organic composition which are insoluble in hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid. Palynology slides from exploration wells contain acid-resistant biopolymer organic matter, and the study of these slides plays a vital role in minimizing the environmental impact of petroleum exploration.
Similarly to slides used in routine pathology or research, palynology slides can be digitalized for image analysis, sharing and archival purposes.
However, scanning palynology slides requires a digital slide scanner with high optical resolution – the typical requirement is a 40x objective with a numerical aperture of 0.95, criteria that few digital slide scanners can fulfill.