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The histology core facility offers paraffin services including the tissue processing, embedding, sectioning, and various staining for tissues. One-on-one services are available to discuss tissue processing, embedding orientation and staining preferences. Additionally, the facility provides frozen and vibratome services.

The facility offers training and self-access to three pieces of equipment – microtome, cryostat and vibratome.

  • Tissue processing: Tissue processing starts with a fixation step that preserves the tissue followed by steps that dehydrate, clear and infiltrate the tissue with paraffin wax.
  • Decalcification: This technique removes mineral from bone and other calcified tissues so that good-quality paraffin sections can be prepared.
  • Paraffin embedding: This process creates paraffin blocks from specimens that have been thoroughly infiltrated with paraffin wax. The blocks can be clamped into a microtome for sectioning.
  • Sectioning: Using a microtome, very thin sections are cut and placed on a microscope slide for staining.
  • Routine staining: Routine staining uses hematoxylin and eosin dyes to stain thin tissue sections, which allows tissue morphology to be visualized.
  • Special staining: Special stains are useful for identifying specific cell types, demonstrating certain cellular components, or highlighting particular pathological features.
  • Cryosectioning: Cryosectioning is an alternative tissue preparation technique that quickly freezes tissue to preserve it. This technique is generally used when chemical fixatives need to be avoided.
  • Vibratoming: This procedure uses a vibrating blade microtome to cut sections of fixed or fresh tissue under physiological conditions without freezing or embedding.

Download our online service request form (PDF, 108 KB).

For more information about these services, please contact Petia Stefanova at 416-480-6100 ext. 63356 or pstefanova@sri.utoronto.ca.


Petia Stefanova

416-480-6100 ext. 63356

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue, S4 408
Toronto, ON Canada M4N 3M5