Pathology, by studying and analyzing morphological and functional changes in tissues, allows for a better understanding of the cause and mechanisms of various diseases. This is why IRIC has set up a Histology core facility, unique in Canada, in support of our investigators’ cross-disciplinary research projects.

Created and managed jointly by IRIC and the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, the Université de Montréal Histology core facility is located on the 3rd floor of IRIC’s Marcelle-Coutu Pavilion.

The core facility replaces the University’s former histology services and is expected to meet the needs of investigators and clinicians alike in histology, immunohistochemistry, image acquisition, laser microdissection and generation of tissue microarrays. The core facility is accessible to the Université de Montréal network of affiliated hospitals and research centres. It will also enable us to establish fruitful research collaborations and exchanges with investigators in the greater research community and the pharmaceutical industry.

Specialized staff will offer a full array of services including evaluating the user’s needs in histology, help with planning large-scale projects, advice on using the most appropriate techniques, interpretation of results using the bi-headed microscope and establishment of diagnostics.

For service requests, refer to the FORMS section (circle at left). You will find a general guide for tissue preparation and request forms to be filled.

Overview of services and equipment

  • Detailed macroscopic description, specimen digitalization and sample identification to preserve precious information and establish a correlation between macroscopic and microscopic changes.
    -PathStand 40 Gross Dissection Imaging System (SPOT Imaging Solutions)
  • Cryostatic cuts to obtain a rapid diagnostic or solve fixation problems that may threaten the integrity of cellular constituents.
    -Cryostat CM3050S (Leica)
  • Tissue fixation, paraffin coating, microtome cutting and routine correlation, the first steps in the process of tissue microscopic examination.
    -Tissue Tek VIP 5 (Somagen)
    -Tissue Embedding Center EC 350 (Microm)
    -microtomes RM2255 (Leica) and Finesse E+ (Shandon)
    -stainer DRS601 (Somagen)
  • Histochemistry and special colorations to better identify certain constituents of the cell and extracellular matrix
  • Immunohistochemistry (IHC) and in situ hybridisation (ISH, available by request), when it is preferable to use a specific antibody (or a cloned probe) to evaluate a cell constituent or to determine the specificity of a new antibody (or a cloned probe).
    -Discovery XT (Ventana Medical Systems/Roche)
  • Antibodies. You can view our catalog of antibodies available at our facility or by special order here.
  • Tissue microarrays, the latest technological advance in histology and an indispensable tool for large-scale studies, with a robot capable of analyzing hundreds of tissue samples simultaneously.
    -MTA-1 and ATA-27 (Beecher)
  • Laser microdissection to isolate a sub-population of cells within a complex tissue environment and undertake more precise studies, e.g. search of mutations.
    -PALM MicroBeam (Zeiss)
  • Image acquisition and analysis to better document the lesions present in histological preparations.
    -VisiomorphDP™ (Visiopharm)
  • Microscopic analysis by a pathologist of tissues from human, mouse of any other experimental systems to interpret the results from histological cuts and other techniques
  • Digitalization of the preparations and virtual microscopy, for convenient data storage and sharing as well as access to and retrieval of macroscopic and microscopic lesions.
    -NanoZoomer 2.0-HT (Hamamatsu)

    How to view scans obtained with our NanoZoomer 2.0 HT scanner:

    Download NDP

    IRIC’s Histology core facility is now equipped with the wonderful tool mScope tutorial module from Aurora Interactive Ltd. to assist pathologists and medical students. This powerful educational and diagnostic tool permits high resolution analysis of histological preparations. Users can easily access the virtual sample bank anytime of the day from anywhere.


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