The facility provides a full range of histology services including processing and embedding in paraffin, sectioning, H & E staining, a broad range of special stains and frozen sectioning. A variety of plastic embedding options, such as JB4, PMMA or GMA are available for samples containing bone or implants.
Judith A. Drazba, PhD
Apryl Helmick, BS, HT(ASCP)
The histology core offers high-quality, cost-efficient and timely processing, embedding sectioning and staining of tissue.
Consultation, Experiment Design, Troubleshooting
Investigators are encouraged to consult with the knowledgeable staff at the onset of their studies to determine the best way to harvest and prepare their cells/tissues for histologic processing and staining. Our technologists can advise on the best processes to get the most information out of every sample. We can also help troubleshoot when things don’t turn out as expected.
Blocks of frozen tissue embedded in OCT are cut onto slides using a cryostat. Proper tissue handling and freezing is imperative for good quality sections. Tissue can either be fresh frozen or fixed and cryoprotected before being frozen and cut. The knowledgeable staff in the Core can advise on the best method for a particular application. Freezing in iso-pentane (2-methylbutane) cooled with liquid nitrogen is recommended to prevent freezing artifact in fresh tissue. Protocols are available upon request.
Paraffin Processing, Embedding and Sectioning
Tissues should be fixed in 10% neutral-buffered formalin for 24 hours, then transferred into 70% ethanol and brought to the Core. The samples will be placed into an automated processor to be dehydrated through a graded alcohol series and infiltrated with paraffin wax. Following embedding in a paraffin mold, thin sections (4-5um) can then be cut onto positively charged glass slides.
Specialized plastic embedding in GMA and PMMA, sectioning and staining of soft tissue can also be arranged.
Standard and special stains are available such as Hematoxylin and Eosin (H&E), Masson’s Trichrome, Picrosirius Red, Oil Red O, Safranin O, Gram Stain, PAS, Elastic-Van Gieson’s (EVG), Movats and others.
The histology section of the Imaging Core is staffed by two certified histologists. The senior research technologist has more than fifteen years’ experience processing and staining tissues for research and pathology. They use a Leica Peloris automated processor to dehydrate and infiltrate tissues with paraffin, followed by embedding on a Sakura embedding station. Sectioning is then done on Leica microtomes. Routine H&E staining is available as are many special stains, including Masson's trichrome, Movats, EVG and Gram Stain. Plastic embedding, sectioning and staining are available as is cryosectioning.