Tissue Submission Guidelines

  • New users are kindly asked to schedule a meeting to discuss their project for information on the appropriate collection and preparation of your samples before submitting them to the Histology Service Unit.
  • All submissions must include a fully completed order form.
  • Please label cassettes and containers with sample-specific identifier (up to 5 characters) using only a pencil or a solvent-resistant pen. The HSU is not responsible for cassettes/containers labeled in ink since it can be washed off during processing.
  • Before submitting samples to the lab please call or email the lab to coordinate a drop off time.

Submissions of Formalin-Fixed Samples for Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded (FFPE):

  1. Fresh tissues should be immediately formalin-fixed in 10% Neutral Buffered Formalin or in freshly prepared 4% PFA solution for 16-48 hours before submission (agitation on a shaker at room temperature is recommended). Please notice that tissue for IHC staining should not be fixed for longer than 24 hours.
  2. In order to get the samples fixed and processed properly, it is very important to try to keep at least one dimension of a sample no more than 4mm. The recommended overall
    dimensions are 1.5×1.5×0.4 cm.
  3. Use a volume of 15-20 times fixative volume to tissue.
  4. Customers are welcome to trim and place the tissue samples in a suitable labeled cassette (which could be provided by our unit) to ensure the desired orientation.
  5. Upon completing the fixation process, carefully rinse the samples with PBS in three 10-minute intervals to remove any excess formaldehyde. Next, transfer the samples to a sealed container, ensuring they are fully immersed in an ample amount of 70% ethanol for coverage. Promptly deliver the samples to the service lab.
  6. Bring the sample together with the signed order form to the service unit for processing upon completion of fixation. Ideally, tissues should be brought to the service unit and processed as soon as possible. If this is not possible and the tissue is designed for immunohistochemical, tissue should be transferred from formalin to 70% alcohol to stop cross-linking.

Submissions of samples for cryosectioning

Both fixed and un-fixed tissue samples are suitable for cryosectioning. Ideally, specimens should be snap-frozen or placed in the appropriate reagent immediately after the loss of vascularization to prevent the DNA, RNA, and protein from degradation and keep the best morphology.

Submitted samples can be accepted either as fresh, formaldehyde fixed tissues in 30% sucrose or as OCT embedded frozen blocks.

  1. Recently Collected Fresh Specimens for OCT embedding must be wrapped in PBS-moistened gauze. Place the specimens on ice and deliver them immediately to the HSU.
  2. Formalin-fixed tissues in sealed and labeled container. 
  3. Users are welcome to freeze their samples to ensure the desired orientation, notice that the side touching the bottom of the cryomold is the side you want to be sectioned first. Frozen blocks can then be transported to the histology unit for sectioning on dry ice.

Before submitting samples to the lab please call or email the lab to coordinate a drop-off time


When using our service, please acknowledge the facility in your publications and reference the Histology Service Unit. Proper acknowledgment provides a visible measure of the impact of the Service unit.

When to acknowledge:

  • Anytime the HSU provides services that support your research.
  • If a significant contribution beyond routine sample analysis was provided by the HSU, please consider an authorship

Where to acknowledge:  

  • Papers, Posters, Presentations, Reports, Publications and Grants

We kindly request a copy of the publication in PDF format, so that we can keep track of successful research projects that were accomplished using the unit’s services.