Histology and Micro-imaging Core (HMC)) for Histologies Research and Micro Imaging Research
The Histology and Micro-imaging Core (HMC) facility at MWRI provides investigators with the highest quality rapid tissue processing and imaging services. The core is designed with a “tissue to image” approach that allows investigators to request services, drop off samples, and receive interpretation, images, and image analyses of their processed samples according to their needs. The histologies research and micro imaging research facility is co-directed by Carlos A. Castro, MD, DMD, an expert perinatal and gynecological pathologist with unique skills in fine and detailed dissections of small embryos.The HMC, which occupies over 730 sq ft of laboratory space on the 7th floor of MWRI, houses several integral pieces of equipment necessary for histologies research and micro imaging research, including a Leica CM1850UV cryostat, embedding station, microtome, grossing station, and facilities for performing routine, special histochemical, immunohistochemical, and in situ staining procedures. The core operates a Milestone RHS microwave tissue processor, which has several advantages over conventional alcohol-based processing, including faster processing times and ease of use. In combination with special alcohol-based fixatives, the microwave-processed tissue allows the investigator to retrieve macromolecules (DNA, RNA, protein) from the paraffin block of a similar quality and quantity as bulk flash frozen tissue. To assist in micro imaging research, the HMC also houses a full-service micro-imaging and analysis suite that features a Nikon 90i, fully motorized upright microscope for capturing high quality and high-resolution brightfield, DIC, and fluorescence images. The micro imaging research suite includes an Arcturus PixCell II laser capture system, a Nikon A1 advanced confocal system with resonant scanner for live-imaging and spectral detection, which allows detections of up to thirty-two color channels with Volocity 3D/4D imaging and deconvolution software, a Leica DMIRE2 laser confocal microscope, and a Nikon Eclipse TE2000-E spinning disk confocal microscope. All three confocal microscopes are equipped for live cell imaging. A separate robust computer workstation that includes Photoshop, MetaMorph, and Nikon Elements analysis software is also present for more extensive post-acquisition image analyses.
Magee-Womens Research Institute
204 Craft Ave., Room B724.1
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
New to the Histology Core? Not sure how this technology can help your research?
The Histology Core provides histologies research and micro imaging research investigators with the highest quality tissue processing from fresh tissue to digital image and image analysis.
Links to protocols and related websites:
Director: Carlos A. Castro, DMD, MD
Histology Core Services and Fees
- Process fresh and fixed tissue specimens (grossing, tissue processing, embedding, sectioning)
- Microwave tissue processing (retrieve quality RNA/DNA from specially fixed paraffin-embedded blocks) and conventional alcohol-based tissue processing
- Frozen sections (performed by core or investigator)
- Routine, special, and immunohistochemical stains, including antibody work-up
- Laser capture microdissection
- Imaging (brightfield, epifluorescence, DIC; done in conjunction with core staff) and image analysis on the Nikon 90i fully motorized imaging platform using Nikon Elements AR software for acquisition and analysis (measuring objects/region of interest, quantifying IHC staining or other staining, etc.)
- Training Sessions: Training sessions are available for the cryostat, as well as consultation for special requests/projects through Dr. Castro on Monday (10 to 11 a.m.), Wednesday (3 to 4 p.m.), and Friday (1 to 2 p.m.)
- Dr. Castro is available for special consultation and interpretation of tissue-based specimens
Checklist for users:
Scheduling Time for Histologies Research and Micro-Imaging Research Core:
Cryostat time can be scheduled in Outlook at “MWR Histology Core Leica Cryostat.” If you don't have access to this Outlook function, please call Carlos Castro, MD, DMD at 412-641-6086 or 412-641-5675 to schedule.
- Include full name, lab #, extension, and the grant number to be charged.
- Please limit your reservation to 4 hours at a time.
- Cancellations will be honored 4 hours prior to the start of your reservation. (Users charged fee for a 4-hour time block if cancellation not made on time)