This can help identify parts of the cell needed for analysis, such as iron and fat deposition, fibrosis, and the structure and morphology of cells.

The Westmead Institute has a well-established histology facility which students and researchers can access for training and use of equipment, and to obtain high quality results for their specific research projects. ​

Tissue Processing Platform

Tissue processing describes the steps required to take animal or human tissue from fixation to the state where it is completely infiltrated with a suitable histological wax and can be embedded ready for section cutting on a microtome, a machine that cuts extremely thin slices of material. These thin slices can then be stained.

Histology slides can be stained in a variety of ways, but the most common method to examine overall cell structure and architecture is the Haematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) stain. Other stain techniques include Histochemistry (special stains), Immunohistochemistry (IHC), and in-situ hybridisation.

All these slides are viewed under light microscopy and may be digitally scanned for microscopic examination and in-depth analysis.  

Tissue processing can be performed manually (hand processing), but where multiple specimens must be dealt with it is more convenient and much more efficient to use an automated tissue processing machine (tissue processor). These devices have been available since the 1940s and have slowly evolved to be safer in use, handle larger specimen numbers, process more quickly and to produce better quality outcomes. ​