histology facility

The TRI Histology Core Facility was established in 2014 and is located on level 5 North East wing room 5031. It is a tissue preparation facility enabling demonstration of morphology allowing study using brightfield or flourescent microscopy. Our aim is to provide efficient, high quality flexible services with responsive turn-around time to researchers within TRI as well as external clients. We also provide training and access to a range of specialised equipment.

what can we do?


Standard processing
Urgent processing
Customised protocols


Standard embedding
Mega casette embedding
Multiwell cassette embedding
Customised embedding


Frozen tissue sectioning
Paraffin block sectioning
DNaise/RNaise free sectioning
Fresh bone sectioning


Slide labelling
Cassette  labelling


IHC, IF, ISH and Multiplex
Customised to each project


Alcian Blue + PAS
Alcian Blue
Congo Red
 Crystal Violet
Diff Quik
Masson Trichrome
Oil Red O
Picrosirius Red
Periodic Acid-Schiff (PAS)
Safranin O
Toluidine Blue
Van Gieson

what is multiplex staining?

  • Stain and image three or more tissue biomarkers at once
  • Use multiple unlabelled primary antibodies raised in the same species, with no cross talk
  • Visualise context that is lost in flow cytometry
  • Confirm single cell co-expression for many biomarkers in one tissue section
  • Get more information while conserving precious tissue


Opal Multiplex Staining: Human Kidney
T/N CK7 (Red on normal)
Cav1 (Purple/pink) Ob (Green)


Colon stained with Alcian Blue

Placenta stained using IHC

Cartilage stained
with Safranin O

Heart tissue stained
with Masson Trichrome

Liver stained with PAS

tissue processor vip6

Designed for the automated dehydration and paraffin infiltration of human, plant and animal tissues. Samples are submerged in a series of increasing concentrations of ethanol, then several changes of xylene and finally infiltrated with paraffin prior to embedding. Protocols can be customised to the sample's needs with variable times, temperatures, pressue and vacuum cycles.

The facility provides customised services to cater to your needs.

For more information regarding fees, please refer to PPMS on the TRI intranet or contact the histology facility staff.

embedding station

Following tissue processing, this station is used to position and embed tissues in molten paraffin wax to form paraffin blocks ready for microtome sectioning.


We have manual and semi-motorised rotary microtomes. The microtome is designed to slice paraffin embedded tissues into thin sections as thin as 1μm. These sections are then picked up microscope slides and used in histochemical, immunohistochemical and immunoflourescent staining applications.


We have two different types of Cryostat:
Leica CM 1950
ThermoFisher HM525NX

The cryostat is used for rapid freezing and sectioning of tissue samples. Fresh tissue samples are frozen with OCT embedding medium to provide rigidity and support for sectioning. Fresh bone samples can be sectioned using the tungsten blade on the Leica CM1950.

The cryostst gives faster results compared to standard paraffin embedded treatments.

tissue-tek automated stainer and coverslipper

For all of your routine and special histochemical stains, we have a  programmable automated stainer to produce consistently high quality stained slides. It is linked to an automated coverslipper which will then transform your slides into clean coverslipped slides ready for microscopy. The coverslipper can be used independently of the stainer, so why not bring your slides prepared at the bench for superior coverslipping.

ventana discovery ultra 

The Discovery Ultra enables high quality, highly reproducible chromogenic and tyramide flourescent immunostaining. It performs all operations required to automatically process slides for immunohistochemistry (IHC) and in situ hybridisation (ISH) staining.

Capabilities include:

Baking, deparaffinisation, antigen retrival and washing can be customised. Single or multiplexed chromogenic and TSA flourescent IHC, ISH and IF staining. It has 30 independent slide reaction chambers with individual slide heaters.  

slides and cassettes printers 

The slide and cassette printers produce highly legible labels which help to minimise mistakes due to human error in subsequent states of processing and analysis.

CHARGES and terms of use

To enquire about facility charges please email [email protected] or access the PPMS booking system.


Access to the facility

Before using the facility, researchers and students must undertake induction and equipment training. Laboratory staff will supervise new users and determine when users are competent to undertake independent use.
Access for new users is from 8am - 4pm Monday to Friday. Frequent users can be extended to 6pm.
Access for experienced users can be arranged for after hours with prior approval by the users supervisor.
All users must pre-book equipment prior to use. You will be charged for the use of the equipment so you need to record your time.

The equipment and services can be booked via the booking system  - PPMS - new or unregistered users need to request an account.

For any queries regarding this system, please contact [email protected]

To find out more about the equipment and services, or to book for an induction and training, contact the facility on ext. 37065 or email [email protected]