Abstract: IR microscopy was first conceptualized in 1949 and the first commercial system was launched 1983. With the appearance of FPA detectors in the 90's, FTIR microscopy became a technique of choice for histology. Two decades later, the release of QCLs working in the mid-IR range refuels this promise by accelerating tremendously the acquisition of IR images for large tissue areas with high-quality spectra for chemical mapping of parameters of interest.
The new QCL-IR imaging system allows a 150× faster spectral data acquisition at equivalent S/N level. The quality of spectral data is comparable while applying spectral curve-fitting treatments, thus showing that laser sources offer reliable signal over a large spectral range. If QCL-IR imaging system seem to offer the opportunity to develop routines for anatomo-pathology, several technological challenges stand in front of us to reach this goal to define the specs of an IR microscope dedicated to hospital.