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Human Tissue Acquistion and Pathology Core

Director: Ballard, Billy R., MD, DDS


The Human Tissue & Pathology Core provides tissue collection and storage services and access to human tissue, histology services, and specialized equipment. The Core collects human tissues prospectively from routine surgical resections and autopsies for use in basic, translational, and clinical research. Only remnant tissue samples not needed for diagnostic purposes are collected. Tissues are available fresh, snap frozen, or in a variety of fixatives, and normal, neoplastic, and other diseased tissues are available. Histology services include paraffin embedding, paraffin sectioning, automated Hematoxylin and Eosin staining, frozen sectioning, special stains, immunohistochemistry and other specialized processing and sectioning services.



Biological Specimens

  • Breast tissue ( Biological Specimen )

    This facility holds breast tissue from patients representing various ethnic backgrounds, age range, and stages. Services can be tailored to PI's request.


  • Circular Paraffin Section Flotation Bath ( Water bath )

    "Keeps water at a constant temperature to flatten wax or resin sections prior to lifting them onto a microscope slide. It may also be used for hot staining except with corrosive substance"

  • Excelsior ES Tissue Processor ( Tissue embedding station )

    The Excelsior ES Tissue Processor Features:
    An easy-to-use operating mode for routine operation.
    Systematic logging and reporting of quality control data, event records, and program information. Automatic in-process reagent rotation—no manual handling of reagents
    Three distinct fill levels in chamber to shorten processing times and ten customized programs and five flush options
    Easy-to-read screens with colorful graphics.

  • Labvision Autostainer ( Automatic staining machine )

  • Labvision PT Module ( Automated dewaxing and epitope recovery device )

    "The PT Module is designed to simultaneously perform Dewaxing and Epitope Recovery on slides prior to immunostaining. Slides are loaded into the Autostainer racks which fit directly into the PT Module. The unit has an integrated computer with touch screen for programming a standardized Pre-treatment programs. The user may also modify the time and temperature settings to further optimize the results.
    The PT Module has dual reaction baths so that two individual procedures, each with 24 slides, may be run independently. LAB VISION'S proprietary Epitope Recovery solutions provide for safe, solvent-free dewaxing and improved environmental conditions."

  • Microtome Shandon Finesse ME ( Microtome )

    This a fully motorized microtome:

  • Shandon Finesse ME+ Histocentre ( Tissue embedding station )

  • Shandon Trimmer ( Instrument )

    "The patented Para Trimmer is a one-of-a-kind innovation that saves time and reduces hassle, no scraping of cassettes is required. Multiple blocks may be passed along heated surface with ridges at one time and wax waste is collected for easy disposal."

  • Sorvall Biofuge ( Centrifuge )

    Small tabletop centrifuge

  • Varistain Gemini ES Automated Slide Stainer ( Automatic staining machine )

    'Thermo Scientific Varistain Gemini ES Automated Slide Stainer is a multi-dimensional stainer designed to maximize efficiency by organizing staining workflow needs.'

  • Vibratome Ultrapro 5000 ( Cryostat )

    "The Ultra Pro 5000 series Cryostats offers the ultimate in precision and constant reproducibility in the preparation of frozen sections. Backed by years of cryostat technology, the UltraPro 5000 Cryostat includes the robust 5040 rotary retracting microtome. The Ultra Pro 5000 series has been proven in hospitals, universities and research departments cutting a diverse range of hard and soft tissues, plastics, rubber, bone, man-made fibres, wood and many other materials. With a wide range of optional features to choose from, the UltraPro 5000 can, justifiably, be called 'the complete cryostat'."


  • Fixation protocol for processing and paraffin embedding ( Protocol )

    "Fixation Protocol For Processing And Parffin Embedding:
    • Samples submitted for processing MUST be properly trimmed (not to exceed 5 mm in thickness), and fixed in reagent of choice according to your protocol. However the most commonly used fixative is 10% Neutral Buffered Formalin (NBF). The laboratory keeps 10% NBF, sponges, and cassettes available. Samples that have been properly fixed should be transferred into 70% ethanol alcohol and taken to the laboratory for further processing. Please call the histology staff if you need guidance in these procedures.
    •All submitted tissue should he placed in cassettes and properly labeled with a unique ID number assigned by you. Please do not fill the cassettes to capacity with tissue. This practice will result in poor tissue processing.
    •Cassettes should be labeled and identified using the following system: JD08-####-tissue type. Where JD represents the first letter of the first and last name of the investigator, 00 represents the last two digits of the year, and #### is the unique ID number given by the investigator along with the tissue that is in the cassette. An example: for Jane Doe in the year 2007, 253 is the investigators unique ID number assigned by him/her and the tissue submitted is ovary. Would be: JD08-253-Ovary
    •Use a soft #2 pencil or Secureline Marker II/ Superfrost to label the cassettes. Do Not Use Sharpie Markers. The ink can’t with stand the chemicals used in processing.
    •For projects that require specially coated slides, please provide these slides at the submission of your project to the histology laboratory. Histology provides slides for routine hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and IHC staining only.
    •Clearly identify all tissue containers submitted and all slides provided with investigator’s submitter’s name.
    •Please give one week prior notification for submissions that have a large number of samples or which will necessitate frequent and continuous submissions to the histology lab."


  • Immunohistochemistry service ( Material processing service )

    Antibodies can be provided by the core laboratory for an additional charge.

  • Routine histology service ( Material processing service )

    "Collection of fresh tissue, snap freezing and banking neoplastic and normal tissues, histology services such as paraffin embedding, paraffin sectioning, automated Hematoxylin and Eosin staining, frozen sectioning, special stains, and immunohistochemistry. Human and animal pathology diagnostic services and microscopic interpretation of Hematoxylin and Eosin, special stain, and immunohistochemistry interpretations, digital photography and descriptions for manuscripts are also available."

  • Tissue procurement service ( Material processing service )

    "Collection of fresh tissue, snap freezing and banking neoplastic and normal tissues."

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Last updated: 2014-06-11T12:25:07.416-05:00

Copyright © 2016 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College
The eagle-i Consortium is supported by NIH Grant #5U24RR029825-02 / Copyright 2016