Results of a Peer-Reviewed Study Published about ChromaCal™ in the Journal of Histochemistry & Cytochemistry

“An Innovative Method for Obtaining Consistent Images and Quantification of Histochemically Stained Specimens”

Lawrenceville, NJ – March 31, 2015 – Datacolor® is pleased to announce the publication of a peer-reviewed paper in which the authors present ChromaCal as a superior method for obtaining publication-quality and quantitation-ready color brightfield images. The paper, entitled “An Innovative Method for Obtaining Consistent Images and Quantification of Histochemically Stained Specimens,” is available in the April issue of the Journal of Histochemistry & Cytochemistry (“JHC”). Based on qualitative and quantitative comparisons of digital images of stained specimens, several studies are presented comparing existing approaches to integrating ChromaCal into the imaging workflow. Selected as JHC’s Editor’s Choice Article, the paper is authored by Michael A. Linden, MD, PhD; and co-authored by Gerald J. Sedgewick and Marna Ericson, PhD.

Key findings presented in the paper include the following:

  • Even with an expert operator using a scientific-grade microscope and camera, there was distinct session-to-session image variability, independent of whether the user manually adjusted the camera settings or used automated settings for both exposure and white balance. Given that few research experiments can be completed in a single microscope session and, for pathologists who read slides, multiple sessions are the norm, the finding suggests that variability lies in the camera systems.
  • In regard to image consistency, two post-processing methods were compared (Adobe® Photoshop® and ChromaCal). The results suggest that the ChromaCal-adjusted images are much “truer” (in terms of color rendition and white balance) than those of the most technically optimal Photoshop-processed images.
  • In the final study, the authors demonstrated how post-processing can affect semi-automated quantification of immunoreactive cell density, surface area measurements, and morphometric measurements. On all three parameters, post-processing with ChromaCal provided more consistency to the measurements, and in the case of morphometric assessment, ChromaCal provided an objective method for setting a single threshold value for images from more than one microscope session.
  • Noting that approximately 50% of cameras systems used by the authors were capturing images that were non-linear, the authors suspected that users of imaging systems are probably not aware of a similar issue with their equipment (especially given that there has been no easy diagnostic method available). With a linearity diagnostic tool integrated into ChromaCal, the ability to measure and correct non-linearity is now readily available to users of imaging equipment.
  • In summary, the authors were confident that the ChromaCal method will make it easier to post-process color brightfield images in a consistent manner with improved color standardization, preserved linear tonal levels, reproducible brightness levels, and automated white balancing.

In light of these findings, Dr. Linden commented, “Imaging in pathology, as well as microscopy in the broadest sense, has integrated digitization into the workflow. Whether for secondary evaluation, report preparation, or data archiving, digital imaging is becoming an essential part of the pathologist’s practice. As a result, it is important to establish standards and controls for our digital systems. As a frame of reference, the radiology industry has standards for digital images, recognizing that consistency, accuracy and data integrity are as important as the images themselves. In color brightfield imaging, standardization will improve our practice as well as scientific research in diagnostic and research pathology.” Dr. Linden continued, “It is important to me to have images that provide optimal visualization of details, and with the assurance that I have consistency in the color rendering time and time again. The ChromaCal technology addresses these needs, adding value to my practice and integrating easily into my imaging workflow.”

Manuscripts can be obtained at Information regarding ChromaCal is available at; product requests and questions can be sent to


About ChromaCal

The ChromaCal Color Calibration System delivers consistent, presentation-quality images without subjective adjustments…FAST! Packaged in a powerful yet easy-to-use interface, CHROMACAL streamlines the digital imaging workflow, and ensures that image data is color-standardized, never compromised.


Key Features:

  • For transmitted light, color brightfield microscopy images and reflected light, macroscopic images
  • Delivers accurate and consistent color in digital images for unsurpassed comparability between imaging sessions and imaging systems
  • Color algorithm includes automatic white balance and brightness matching
  • Fast batch processing of TIFF and JPEG files
  • Diagnostic tools included to check linearity of your image capture system (critical for qualitative and quantitative analysis of digital images)
  • Complete documentation stored in calibrated image metadata
  • ChromaCal images are saved as separate files; original images are preserved
  • Flexibility to modify contrast while preserving linearity of image (not a gamma adjustment)
  • Processes files up to 2GB in size (performance dependent on workstation configuration)
  • Option to easily save TIFF images in JPEG format (for facilities sensitive to storage requirements)
  • Integrated with ChromaCal Monitor Calibration software to assure color integrity over the entire imaging and evaluation continuum
  • Software compatible with both Mac OSX and Windows operating systems.


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