The Neuropathology Core has a component of activities located at USU in the Biomedical Instrumentation Center (BIC) and a component that is located at an off-campus facility to optimize laboratory certifications, freezer operations, and storage.
CNRM provided new equipment to the existing BIC Histopathology services to increase the quality and capacity of processing and slide preparation of paraffin-embedded tissues. Investigators can use the BIC histopathology services on a fee-for-service basis using the information on the BIC Histopathology website. Services include paraffin-embedding and cutting through routine histological staining as well as custom and special stains.
CNRM added an Olympus Nanozoomer RS digital pathology ("Virtual Microscopy") system for capability to digitize brightfield and fluorescently labeled slides. The Nanozoomer is also within the BIC Histopathology unit at USU. Digitizing slide preparations allows more efficient image capture than standard microscopy and enables use of image analysis tools purchased to support the Nanozoomer system. See basic features of this system here.
These histopathology services and image analysis capabilities are complemented by the stereology and two photon confocal microscopy systems provided within the BIC through CNRM support – see, Microscopy Core.
Also, within the BIC at USU, to provide the ability for molecular pathology correlations, CNRM has provided a Roche LightCycler Real-Time PCR (with 384-well block silver) for nucleic acid analysis from specimens.
Resources for cutting and staining human brain specimens: A Nanozoomer HT system with low magnification and high throughput capacity is available to generate high quality digital images of stained specimen images. This digitizing system is used with applications of image analysis software for qualitative and quantitative neuropathological analysis. Digitized images are designed to maximize collaborative use of the specimens, which will facilitate the research programs across investigators. A senior histotechnologist oversees the human specimen processing for approved CNRM studies. Two chest freezers with monitoring systems are available for storage of frozen specimens and brain banking of human cases.
Brain donation is a valuable contribution to medical research, especially dealing with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Approximately 15 – 20% of service members returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) reported having had at least one TBI during their tours of duty, and data suggest that a higher percentage of service members deployed for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) have suffered from TBIs. Unfortunately, little is known about how the brain is damaged following a TBI. In response, the CNRM has established a Brain Repository to which the families of deceased service members and other eligible donors may contribute. Through the gift of brain donation scientists will be able to conduct research on many aspects of TBI.
Access to the use of these cores is subject to CNRM review and chargeback fees may apply.