Shandon Citadel Tissue 2000 Processor and 1000 Processor
We have two automated Shandon Citadel tissue processors one for normal biological and plant tissue and the other specifically for human tissue. These processors take tissue from its initial fix state through various reagents – graded alcohols, clearing agents and finally to molten paraffin wax under vacuum. Times in all the reagents can be altered to allow correcting embedding of different types and sizes of tissue. This is all automated to give consistent results. The Thermo Scientific Shandon Citadel series is a carousel-type tissue processor with touch key operation. The Citadel 1000 Processor has a capacity of 60 tissue cassettes, the Citadel 2000 holds 200 cassettes. The processors have a delayed-start feature that may be programmed up to nine days in advance, hand-held touch key controller for easy operation and have vacuum option unit to facilitate efficient and rapid wax infiltration of specimens
Leica EG1150-H Embedding station
The embedding station allow us to take your molten wax impregnated tissue direct from the automatic processor to produce a typical “wax block” by placing your tissue in preformed cassettes or moulds, the addition of a cold plate on this embedding station also allows the manipulation of the specimen to give the correct cutting orientation.
Leica EG 1150-C Cold Plate
The Leica EG1150-C cold plate compliments the EG 1150-H embedding station. Your tissue block is immediately taken from the embedding station and placed on the cold plate - this allows rapid and controlled cooling of the wax block, limiting possible crystallisation of the wax which impairs final sectioning. It can also be used to cool previously blocked out tissue prior to cutting to give better results.
AO Spencer No. 820 Rotary Microtomes
The microtome is the final piece of equipment used in the histological process. A microtome effectively slices paraffin embedded tissue into very thin slices (sections) which are then placed on a glass slide for subsequent staining. This microtome is a manual microtome which helps initial users to get a true feel for cutting sections and all the subtle variation of techniques to give you the perfect end result. Sections can be cut anywhere between ~5µm and 50µm depending on final requirements. We use disposable blades as standard and have 8 of these microtomes available.
Reichert Jung 1140 Autocut Microtome
We have one automatic microtome; not only can this be used for standard paraffin embedded material but also for more specialised resin embedded tissue techniques. This microtome can also be used manually if preferred. Section thickness is adjustable from 3µm to 35µm. This microtome also comes with backlighting specimen magnification optics for quality control of sections. A complete range of specimen and knife holders are available.
Leica CM1510 Cryostat
Another technique available is frozen sectioning using a Cryostat. A cryostat is essentially a microtome in a freezer. We have one cryostat available for frozen sectioning. In frozen sectioning tissue can be fixed or unfixed, tissue is rapidly frozen and mounted in the microtome of the cryostat. Sections are cut in a similar way to normal microtomy. The main advantage of frozen sectioning is speed, but that can be at the cost of the technical quality, and serial sectioning compared to paraffin histology. As well as speed other advantages are preservation of lipids and improved viability of some antigens masked by traditional paraffin histology.
A Vibrotome is similar to standard microtome in that it produces sections of fixed or fresh animal or plant tissue but it uses neither paraffin embedding frozen sectioning techniques, instead the tissue is embedded in an agar or agarose gel, though it is possible to cut non embedded tissue. A vibrating knife is used to cut sections. Advantages are speed and the removal of artefacts and destruction of enzyme activities often associated with other embedding procedures and freezing techniques. However Vibrotome-produced sections tend to be thicker and only individual sections can be produced as opposed to the ribbons of sections in normal microtomy. The Vibratome 1500 has an automatic specimen stage and blade advance mechanism. The automatic operation makes serial sectioning an easy task.
We also have a full range of equipment in this facility associated with various embedding techniques: - several section baths, hot plates, section boxes, slide drying ovens and all the general lab equipment, consumables and glassware etc one would expect. The laboratory also has a fume cupboard, fume hood, gas and vacuum supplies.
Nikon Eclipse E400 epi-fluorescence Microscope
The Eclipse E400 biological microscope is a mid-level research instrument. The Eclipse E400 features a quintuple revolving nosepiece and Nikon's CFI60 optical system. Included in the system is a series of universal objectives that enable the use of various observation techniques, such as brightfield, darkfield, Nomarski DIC, epi-fluorescence, or phase contrast, without the necessity of changing objectives. This microscope is set up for epi-fluorescence with digital imaging capture.
Leitz Dialux 22EB
The Leitz Dialux 22EB scientific / clinical microscope is set up for both epi-fluorescence, phase and brightfield also with digital imaging capture
This standard scientific / clinical microscope with brightfield,/phase this microscope also as the added feature of a side arm “discussion tube” with extra eyepieces to allow two user viewing, it also comes with digital image option.
Nikon Eclipse TS100
This is an inverted microscope manly used for observation and image capture of tissue culture specimens, buy is a useful addition to the imaging suite. The compact high-performance inverted microscopes ECLIPSE TS100 use Eco-illumination, a newly developed LED illumination. Eco-illumination provides enough brightness for phase contrast and NAMC observations. With a fly-eye lens, uniform brightness is provided in the entire field of view. Nikon’s highly acclaimed CFI60 optical system is used, providing flat, sharp and clear images, while achieving longer working distances and higher numerical apertures. Also comes with digital image capture option.