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TACMASR offers immunohistochemical staining on formalin fixed, paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissues and cell lines, and on frozen tissues and cultured cells. Chromogenic and fluorescent techniques are available.

Immunohistochemistry (IHC)

Ventana Medical Systems - Discovery XT instrumentTACMASR performs chromogenic immunohistochemistry (viewed with light microscopy) on an automated staining platform. We use the Discovery XT Immunostainer and the associated, validated reagents for antigen retrieval, staining and detection designed for this instrument (Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., Tucson, AZ). The instrument can stain fixed or frozen tissue sections by IHC. It is also equipped to perform In Situ Hybridizaition (ISH).

Primary antibodies used for IHC

TACMASR has validated more than 100 antibodies on the Discovery XT.

Microscope image of immunohistochemistry - Rimsza lab

Validation includes the process of optimizing conditions for antigen retrieval from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues and cell lines on our autostainer. Optimized conditions may vary slightly for human tissues, research animal (mainly mouse) tissues or cell lines prepared in FFPE blocks. Validation also includes optimizing conditions for staining and detection for each primary antibody. The use of an automated staining platform allows for both run-to-run and intra-run reproducibility for each assay.

The selection of primary antibodies that we have validated to date is investigator driven, and we are continually adding new assays to the list upon request. Primary antibodies can be purchased or acquired from a number of vendors and sources.

We supply many of the primary antibodies that we have validated, but investigators may need to purchase primary antibodies* that we have not yet validated. All other reagents for antigen retrieval and detection are specific for this staining platform and are supplied as part of the IHC assay.

*If you are looking for candidate primary antibodies for IHC, check the vendor datasheet for information and images related to the use of IHC performed on FFPE tissues. 


Pathologic Analysis and Interpretation

TACMASR provides expertise in histological and pathological interpretation of human and research animal material. The Directors assist researchers with experimental design and the establishment of histological scoring strategies. Dr. Lisa Rimsza and Dr. Charmi Patel, are surgical and experimental pathologists with many years of experimental pathology experience. They are available to consult with investigators to analyze and interpret pathological findings in the overall context of the research project. They also oversee quality control issues for pathology related services that are offered by the core lab. Please Contact Us to discuss any research project or questions you may have.

A critical aspect of interpreting immunohistochemical and other assays offered by the service is the identification and use of the appropriate positive and negative control tissues for each assay. TACMASR works with each investigator to identify and acquire appropriate pathological material and controls for IHC and LCM studies.

Immunofluorescence (IF)

TACMASR performs co-localization of proteins by immunofluorescence staining on either frozen tissue specimens or cell lines cultured on coverslips.

We also a cryostat and the expertise to cut frozen sections for IF staining. We can also cut unstained frozen sections for you to perform IF staining in your lab.

We perform both single and double staining (two antibodies from different host species). We have available both green 488nm FITC (fluorescein isothiocyanate) and red 568nm labeled secondary antibodies made against a variety of species. We can also co-stain with DAPI to localize the nuclei.

Please contact Doug Cromey for training on the Leica SP5 confocal microscope at the University of Arizona Cancer Center:


Laser Capture Microdissection

Normally the University of Arizona Cancer Center offers the use of an Arcturus VeritasTM Laser Capture Microdissection instrument through the TACMASR core facility. Unfortunately the LCM instrument is not functioning at this time. We are working on restoring it to a functioning state.

Please Contact Us if you are interested in using this technology.


Design and Construction of Tissue Microarrays

TACMASR works with investigators to design, construct, stain and interpret Tissue MicroArrays (TMAs).  Tissue cores from multiple donor formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue blocks are re-embedded into a recipient FFPE block.  Cores are 1.5 mm in diameter, with a maximum of 48 cores incorporated into each TMA.   An H&E from each donor block is marked by a pathologist select the area of interest to core.  Histological and immunohistochemical staining procedures can be performed on thin sections cut from the TMA.

Please Contact Us to discuss design and construction of TMAs.


Digital Imaging

TACMASR has available a microscope with a color digital camera for imaging chromogenic and immunostained microscopic sections: an Olympus CellSens DP72 Imaging system.  Quantitation of immunostained microscopic sections is currently under development.