Institute of Health and
Biomedical Innovation
a university for the real world

Histology laboratory

Overview

Histology is the biological study of the microscopic anatomy of cells and tissues. Our histology lab is a complete service facility located at our Kelvin Grove campus within the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation.

Capabilities

Our laboratory can process, embed, section, stain and image fresh or fixed tissue, and specialises in expert, reproducible, high throughput histological services. We offer:

  • routine paraffin, cryo and more specialised resin histology services
  • soft and hard tissue capacity, specialising in bone tissue histology
  • rapid decalcification of mineralised samples
  • client designed tissue micro array blocks
  • specialised imaging capability including brightfield fluorescence stereomicroscopy, brightfield fluorescence microscopy in brightfield and fluorescence modes, high throughput slide scanning and FT-IR fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy.

Sample preparation

We work with human, animal and plant samples often with implanted medical and regenerative devices. To ensure optimal sample preparation, we can:

  • rapidly decalcify hard or mineralised tissues before processing for routine paraffin histology and/or immunohistochemistry options
  • embed mineralised samples in resin and section (thin or ground) to better preserve tissue morphology (ideal for bone and metallic/ceramic implants common in dentistry and orthopaedics)
  • rapidly freeze and cryo section samples with labile antigens or processing-sensitive components prior to staining.

Read details

Research leader
Research team
QUT
Organisational unit
Lead unit Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Research areas
 

Details

Equipment

Our state-of-the-art equipment allows for:

  • paraffin histology
  • resin histology
  • cryo histology
  • high throughput processing and slide scanning
  • advanced light microscopy
  • image analysis
  • customised tissue micro array blocks

Paraffin histology

Instrument Capabilities and features
Milestone KOS Microwave HistoSTATION Rapidly decalcify specimens prior to paraffin processing with customisable programs. Perform antigen retrieval, microwave assisted histochemical and immunohistochemical staining.
Thermo Excelsior ES Tissue Processor Automatic tissue processor with multiple, customisable programs capable of handling standard, mega and super mega cassettes.
Shandon Paraffin Embedding Station Embed paraffin infiltrated soft and decalcified tissue samples prior to sectioning
Leica Rotary Microtomes (RM 2135, 2235, 2245, 2265) Manual and semi-automated microtomes for preparing histological sections (2µm+ thickness) from paraffin or resin embedded tissue.
Tissue MicroArrayer system (Unitma Quick-Ray UT06) Manual, customisable production of tissue microarray blocks, which can consolidate 10 to 100 target samples into a single paraffin block. Applies to cancer studies requiring high throughput screening or comparison, production of quality control blocks and miniaturisation of small or difficult to source tissues. Can provide simultaneous analysis of pathology tissue samples, providing cost and time savings for reagents and histochemical, immunohistochemical, immunofluorescence and in situ hybridisation techniques.
Cassette Writer Reliable, automated, permanent, highly legible labelling of biomedical histology cassettes. The bar code functionality integrates well with most laboratory information management systems.
Slide Printer Reliable, automated, permanent, highly legible labelling of microscopy slides used in biomedical, plant or material sciences fields. The bar code functionality integrates well with most laboratory information management systems.

Resin histology

Instrument Capabilities and features
Resin infiltration and embedding Embed hard and mineralised samples (with or without polymeric, metallic or ceramic implants) in a resin matrix prior to sectioning and histochemical and immunohistochemical staining.
EXAKT Precision Diamond Bandsaw Gross dissection of fresh or fixed calcified tissues and other hard samples.
EXAKT Precision Micro Grinder Prepare ground 30-50µm sections of resin embedded samples for staining and analysis.
Reichert-Jung Sledge Microtomes (Polycut D6907) Semi-automated microtomes for preparing histological sections (10µm+ thickness) from large paraffin embedded tissues or hard mineralised samples +/- scaffolds, medical or regenerative devices.

Cryo histology

Instrument Capabilities and features
Leica CM1820 Cryostat Prepare frozen sections for staining from fresh tissue by sectioning at <-10°C temperatures. Achieve results on fresh tissue without the need for fixation or processing. Suitable for immunohistochemical studies on labile antigens.

High throughput processing

Instrument Capabilities and features
Leica High Throughput Autostainer XL An automated staining machine with multiple staining protocols. Simultaneous staining provides high reproducability both within and between staining runs.
Leica Robotic Coverslipper Automates the application of coverslips neatly and accurately, optimising slide longevity and scanning results.

Imaging and image analysis

Instrument Capabilities and features
Leica SCN400 High Throughput Slide Scanner Acquisition of high quality digital images from standard and double format slides at up to x40 magnification. Excellent for desktop analysis, presentations and publications. Ideally suited for digital archiving of valuable, irreplaceable and/or fragile slide libraries for research and industry. Permits increased accessibility to samples by authorised stakeholders in local and remote locations.
3D Histech Slide Scanner Acquisition of high quality digital images at up to x70 magnification with additional digital zoom. Provision of automated scanning in brightfield and fluorescence modes with barcoding, z-stacking and extended depth of focus functionalities.  Access tailor made, application-specific resolution analysis packages for commercially produced or in-house generated tissue micro-arrays. Excellent for desktop analysis presentations and publications. Ideally suited for digital archiving of valuable, irreplaceable and/or fragile slide libraries for research and industry. Provides increased accessibility to samples by authorised stakeholders in local and remote locations.
Nikon MacroImager Image capture and annotation for large samples.
Nikon SMZ25 Fluorescence Stereomicroscope Brightfield and fluorescence (4 channels) microscopic evaluation of large, gross or high profile samples with digital camera recording. Capable of extended depth of field and time lapse. Can image human, animal, plant and synthesised materials on supports or in tissue culture plates/wells.
Nikon SMZ745T Stereomicroscope on boom stand Brightfield microscopic evaluation and quality control assessment of large, gross or high profile samples with digital camera recording. Can image human, animal and plant samples, cultured cells in wells and synthesised materials including scaffolds, hydrogels and medical devices.
Osteomeasure Histomorphometry Suite Automatically calculate measurements of over 175 parameters of bone and tissue sections based on ASBMR Standard Nomenclature using imported images.
Zeiss AxioImager M2 upright microscope Brightfield, darkfield and fluorescence (6 channels) microscopic evaluation of thin sections with digital camera recording. Motorised X, Y and Z stage permits tiling of large samples with excellent stitching of image sets.
Zeiss AxioLab A1 upright microscope Brightfield microscopic evlauation and quality control assessment of thin samples including scaffolds and sections with digital camera recording capability.

Services and equipment hire

Accessing services and equipment

Our histology laboratory is available to staff and students and external clients at a competitive price. It provides both self-service and full-service tissue processing, sectioning, histochemical and immunohistochemical staining and automated, high throughput slide scanning.

Our experienced staff can provide training, advice and guidance on the experimental process and the analysis of results, so that you achieve optimal outcomes.

Booking instructions

To arrange a consultation, email histology@qut.edu.au

Conditions

  • Work will not commence until a quote has been agreed upon.
  • Machine use will be charged as 'per use' for any period less than an hour and in full 1-hour increments thereafter.
  • Paraffin sections will be placed onto slides with 2 sections per slide.
  • If embedding is being undertaken, the client must be present to advise on the orientation of the sample.
  • Automated staining may be set up for specific stains.
  • A minimum of 10 slides is required for all paraffin sectioning and staining requests.
  • Slide scanning images will be supplied as TIF/JPEG files.
  • You will be charged an additional $30 for each 100-slide capacity storage box supplied, unless you supply your own boxes before work starts.

Indicative pricing for external researchers

Machine use
Machine Per use Per hour
Exakt saw $10 $10
Exakt grinder $10 $10
Marmed saw $10 $10
Resin microtome $10 $10
Histology services

Prices include labour unless stated otherwise.

Service Labour per hour Per sample Per slide
Tissue processing Not applicable $3 Not applicable
Paraffin embedding $70 $6 Not applicable
Paraffin sectioning $70 Not applicable $5
Resin embedding - 25mL mould $70 $50 Not applicable
Resin embedding - 100mL mould $70 $200 Not applicable
Resin ground section - large $70 Not applicable $45
Resin ground section - small $70 Not applicable $35
Automatic H&E staining and coverslipping Not applicableNot applicable $5
Automatic counterstain (Hx after IHC) and coverslipping Not applicableNot applicable $5
Other simple stains and coverslipping - Safranin O, Oil Red O, Sirius Red, Toluidine Blue, von Kossa, Trichrome, Methyl Green Not applicableNot applicable $5 - $10
Slide scanning (20 slides minimum) Not applicableNot applicable $10
Training $70Not applicableNot applicable

Contacts

Histology Laboratory

  • Level 5, Q Block
    Kelvin Grove
    60 Musk Avenue
    Kelvin Grove QLD 4059
    Australia