Experimental Histopathology

2H3 Neurofilament whole-mount Immunohistochemistry staining of E12.5 mouse embryo performed by Bradley Spencer-Dene of the EHP lab

Histopathology involves analysing the microscopic structure of human and animal tissues, for which we use a range of specialist tools and techniques to identify developmental problems, tumour development and other signs of disease.

Spotting the distinct features of diseases is not easy – for example, to the untrained eye, tumours can look very similar to normal structures affected by inflammation or hormonal alterations. Our pathologists have experience to accurately identify such features and relate what we see in animals to human diseases.

We are here to help Crick researchers get the most out of their experiments by advising on experimental design, assisting with dissection, processing, staining and interpretation of the end results. We welcome the opportunity to train Crick scientists in techniques such as sectioning, staining techniques, image analysis, laser capture microdissection or photomicroscopy within our laboratory.

A key technique in histopathology is ‘staining’ tissue to highlight different types of cell or matrix. This can involve using dyes or labelled antibodies or probes for DNA/mRNA. We have a library of over 500 antibodies that we have optimised to stain different cell types, so we can help Crick researchers to choose the right antibody and make sure it’s binding to the right thing.