Equipment

The equipment provided in Monash Histology Platform is up-to-date, modernised equipment purchased to meet the needs of our clients. In late 2011 the Histology Platform undertook an Equipment Refresh Program which involved a full facility and equipment review, analysis of processing capabilities and requirements. As a result, in 2012 several major new pieces of equipment were purchased and integrated into the Laboratory. The new equipment, together with re-design of the work environment has enabled increased productivity and flexibility, improved quality and continuous workflow.

Tissue Processor - Leica Peloris II

The Peloris II is a rapid tissue processor that provides high quality tissue processing results for any tissue. Two independent retorts allow processing of two run cycles at one time according to workload demands, enabling improved productivity, flexibility and reduced turnaround times. Each retort can process up to 300 specimens at a time.

The advanced reagent management system monitors reagent quality so that the most appropriate reagent station is selected for each processing step. The Peloris II also automatically indicates recommended reagent changes.

Tissue Processor 

Cassette writer - Thermo Fischer Printmate

The Printmate cassette writer produces high quality, easy-to-read, black print labels on tissue cassettes. It provides an improved method of specimen identification and accuracy. The Printmate can print large batches or single cassettes using standard or special numbering configurations and can be programmed to an individual registered user according to labelling requirements.

Cassette writer 

Tissue Embedding Centre - Shandon Histocentre 3

The embedding centre is an integral part of the workflow through the Monash Histology Platform. 2 units complement the Peloris II tissue processor allowing ease of embedding via units that have simple, easy to operate controls. The flow control on both units can be adjusted to allow fast or slow wax dispensing depending on your requirements. Both units have a fast melting, 5 litre capacity paraffin tank dispenser. Up to 200 cassettes can be stored in both tissue storage tanks. The Shandon Histocentre 3 is also equipped with a magnifying glass for very small samples.

Tissue Embedding Centre 

Rotary Microtomes – Microtec x1/Microm x1/Reichert Jung x1

Rotary microtomes are designed to cut paraffin sections for routine histology. The microtomes provided in Monash Histology Platform DIY area consist of a knife holder and clamp, the quick release clamp for holding the tissue specimen and an advance mechanism to deliver the specimen block to the cutting blade. The block is clamped perpendicular to the horizontal blade, section thickness selected and sample cut on the microtome. Angles are pre-set and developed according to blade angle and type. Microtome section thickness ranges from 1-60μm.
Monash Histology Platform has five microtomes available for registered users. All microtomes are fitted with knife guards and flywheel locking mechanisms for user safety, and are complimented with water baths, drying racks and a cold plate or ice container. Ergonomic benches have been installed in the DIY area allowing added user comfort and safety.

Rotary Microtomes 

Cryostat - Leica 3050S / CM1850

The Leica 3050S cryostat is a versatile cryo-sectioning system designed to meet a broad range of user sectioning requirements. It has a motorized advance and retraction capability as well as dual temperature control for the chamber and specimen. The cryostat is equipped with a programmable trimming option and can cut sections from 0.5 to 300 microns thick. For user comfort the unit is supplied with a hydraulic height adjustment on the Leica 3050S. Maximum specimen size is 55-70mm.

Cryostat 

Autostainer and Coverslipper - Leica ST5010 Autostainer and CV5030 Coverslipper

The Leica Autostainer provides high quality, consistent staining with improved throughput. The machine can be programmed to run 15 different staining protocols, and can accommodate up to 11 staining racks, each holding 30 slides, at a time. An adjoining transfer station allows slides to be moved from the Autostainer onto the coverslipping unit, removing the need for manual coverslipping of slides.

Autostainer and Coverslipper 

Immunohistochemistry Autostainer - Dako Autostainer Plus

The Dako Autostainer Plus is an automated horizontal slide-processing system for automated immunohistochemistry of paraffin-embedded tissue or frozen sections. The software is user friendly and Windows based. It provides high quality, consistent results and can accommodate up to 48 slides in each run. Staining is done at room temperature for all primary antibodies. Programmes can be customised to client's specifications from existing manual protocols.

Immunohistochemistry Autostainer 

Immunohistochemistry Antigen Retrieval – Dako PT Link

The PT Link is a pre-treatment system used to optimize immunohistochemical staining consistency. The machine is user friendly and offers a range of flexible options. Desired parameters for time and temperature can be set, with the maximum temperature setting for target retrieval at 102 °C. Productivity is maximised by streamlining deparaffinization, rehydration and target retrieval to a single step.

 

Multi-header Microscope- Olympus BX50

A dual headed light microscope used for visualising slides and for teaching. Objective lenses are from 4x to 60x. A 100x oil immersion lens can be fitted on request.

Multi-header Microscope 

Fluorescent microscope/Digital camera /Polarizer/DP12 – Olympus BX41 2x, Leica DFC450C, Olympus Polariser U-ANT, Olympus DP12

The BX41 microscopes both come with an attached Digital camera. These microscopes offer bright field, Fluorescence in UV, blue, green and red range, and are compatible with the Polariser.
The Leica DFC450C camera provides high-resolution detailed pictures accurately with excellent colour reproduction. Crisp, sharp images can be created in low light situations. LAS software is user friendly.
The DP12 is an older model camera providing digital images directly onto the computer.

 

Micro Tissue Arrayer – Beecher MTA-1 (Instruction Manual: Beecher Instruments)

"A tissue arrayer is a simple, manually operated laboratory instrument that enables researchers to array up to 1,000 tissue samples in a single paraffin block. It uses two punches: one to create a regular array of holes in a recipient block and a second punch to collect precisely sized cores from selected regions of donor tissue blocks. X-Y micrometres define the coordinates of the array."
Monash Histology Platform can create multi-core blocks according to your specific requirements.

Micro Tissue Arrayer 

Slide Scanner – Aperio Scanscope AT Turbo

The Aperio Scanscope AT Turbo is an eSlide capturing device that can scan up to 400 slides at a time. Images are captured at 20x or 40x magnification and stored on the Monash server. Your images can be retrieved, accessed and annotated at your desktop at your convenience. The images can also be transferred onto your external hard drive if required.
Image capture resolution for 20x is: 0.50μm/pixel, and for 40x is: 0.25 μm/pixel.

Slide Scanner 

Slide Scanner – Aperio Scanscope FL

The Aperio Scanscope FL is an eSlide capturing device for fluorescently stained slides that can scan up to 5 slides at a time. Images are captured at 20x or 40x magnification and stored on the Monash server. Your images can be retrieved, accessed and annotated at your desktop at your convenience. The images can also be transferred onto your external hard drive if required. Excitation filters available are 387nm (e.g. DAPI, Hoechest 33342), 488nm (e.g. FITC, Alexa Fluor 488), 560nm (e.g. Alexa Fluor 555), 594nm (e.g. Alexa Fluor 594), and 650nm (e.g. Alexa Fluor 647).
Image capture resolution for 20x is: 0.465μm/pixel, and for 40x is: 0.23 μm/pixel.

 

Methacrylate Microtome – Leica RM2165 2x, Leica RM2265

Fully programmable, motorised rotary microtomes used for cutting resin (GMA) sections. Consistent cutting speed and force produces high quality sections. The microtome consists of a knife holder (which utilizes glass knives), the specimen clamp and an advance mechanism to deliver the specimen block to the cutting blade at the choice of section thickness. Microtome section thickness ranges from 0.25-60μm. The MHP has three microtomes available for registered users. All microtomes are fitted with flywheel locking mechanisms for user safety.

Methacrylate Microtome 

Stereo microscope – Leica M60

The Leica M60 stereo microscope is used in conjunction with the Leica RM2265. It is a compact, modular stereo microscope with a 6.3:1 zoom. This enables the microtome to be used for sectioning 1μm epon araldite blocks (specimens). The microscope is fitted with LED lighting for specimen illumination.

 

Ultra-microtome - Reichert Jung Ultracut E

The Ultracut E is used to obtain ultra-thin sections for Transmission Electron Microscopy. The Ultracut E is a fully automated machine. It utilizes diamond and glass knives. Ultrathin sections are routinely cut at 70nm. Semi-thin sections are cut at 1-2 μm.

 

Processing Area – Resin

Manual tissue processing for Glycolmethacrylate (GMA) and Epon-Araldite (EA) specimens is performed in the fume hood of the Resin Lab. GMA and EA specimens are dehydrated using graded Ethanol's before being embedded in resin. An orbital shaker and rotating wheel are available to provide gentle agitation during processing.

Processing Area 

Dissection Area – Paraffin

All specimen dissection is performed in a designated fume hood. Dissecting tools, cutting boards, neutral buffered formalin, specimen pots and cassettes are provided. A dissecting microscope is available for use on very small or intricate samples.
Cryotomy specimens are frozen in this area. Isopentane, OCT, cryomolds, dry ice and/or liquid nitrogen are available on request.

 

Staining Area – Paraffin/Resin

Manual Haematoxylin & Eosin staining is available to all Monash Histology Platform users. Other special stains, including silver stains, are also available. Specialist training for first time DIY clientele is recommended. All chemicals, stains and equipment are provided, ready to use. A manual cover-slipping area is adjacent to the staining area for clients needing to coverslip their slides. For cover-slipping frozen sections an aqueous mounting media is provided.

Staining Area