Histology. The Core provides expertise in a variety of histological techniques, including generation of frozen (cryostat) sections for immunostaining and paraffin wax sections (serial and step sectioning) for staining. Core staff members have unique expertise in orienting and sectioning embryonic and postnatal cardiovascular tissues, which is not readily available in the institutional Imaging Core. The Core can perform both standard histological stains, such as hematoxylin and eosin or Masson’s trichrome, and specialized stains, such as Sirius Red for collagen and Oil Red O for neutral lipids. The Core can also perform fluorescent staining for lipids with filipin and Nile-Red.
Histochemistry and Cytochemistry. The Core provides expertise for histochemical and immunochemical staining of both tissues and cells. Additionally, the Core will provide expertise in fluorescence and chromogenic reporting, avidin-biotin sandwich techniques, tyramide signal amplification, and immunogold staining at the electron microscopic level. The specialized expertise of Core staff members in cardiovascular-related histo/cytochemistry makes this resource particularly valuable to COBRE investigators.
Live-cell Imaging. The Core provides high quality live-cell fluorescence imaging expertise according to the needs of the investigators. Dr. Lupu’s lab has extensive expertise in various live-cell imaging approaches including time-lapse imaging, fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP).
Intravital Microscopy. The Microscopy Core personnel have extensive expertise in intravital microscopy, a powerful tool that allows visualization of physiological events and reveals cellular responses over time and space under conditions closely approximating those within a natural environment. In the past, COBRE members have used bright-field trans-illumination of relatively translucent tissues like the cremaster muscle to study leukocyte rolling within vessels and extravasation into sites of inflammation. More recently, the Core has developed fluorescence-based methods to study the location, motility, adhesion, and interactions of individual cells in three physical dimensions over time using the spinning-disk confocal and multiphoton microscopes.
Electron Microscopy. In addition to the instruments mentioned above, the Core has the necessary expertise for routine TEM sample preparation. Core staff also have expertise in pre-embedding and post-embedding, enzyme-based or immunogold staining in conjunction with TEM.