Collecting and Fixing Tissues

Histopathology Tissue Submission Collecting and Fixing Tissues

Collecting and Fixing Tissues

Tissue collection
Collect tissues using sharp scissors or scalpel blades and mouse-tooth forceps. Handle tissues gently. Grasp and cut samples at the edges, so the areas of interest aren't damaged. At right is a section of mouse spleen damaged by rough handling. Many of the cells are distorted beyond recognition.

Fixation
There are many fixatives and many considerations in their use.  For routine paraffin processing and most stains, neutral buffered 10% formalin is a good choice. In general, mouse tissues should be fixed in formalin for 24 to 48 hours, but can be left much longer. Our standard fixative for rodent tissues is 75% ethanol-10% formalin. The ethanol speeds fixation and stiffens tissues such as lung for easier trimming. Bouin's is good for mouse embryos and fetuses, but is not as forgiving, and the tissues must be adequately rinsed after fixing to remove the picric acid. Fixatives can be purchased from vendors of scientific supplies. Contact us if you're not sure what fixation protocol to use.

Use plenty of fixative!

In general, the ratio of fixative to tissue (vol:vol) should be 15:1 to 20:1. Dense (skin, bone) and bloody (liver, spleen) tissues are hardest to fix. If the amount of fixative is inadequate, or the sample is too large or too thick, the interior of the specimens won't be properly fixed. Inadequate fixation is one of the most common problems we encounter.

Fresh tissues tend to stick together and to the bottom of the container, which inhibits fixation. Thus, it's a good habit to swirl the containers a time or two to separate the tissues from each other and from the container bottom. If there is a lot of blood in the fixative after tissue collection, replace it with fresh fixative.

Tissues must be placed in fixative promptly to prevent autolysis. Refrigerating the fixative and specimen containers slows autolysis. Sometimes additional procedures are needed. For example, lungs might need to be infused with fixative to approximate the normal state of inflation, and intestines may need to be injected with fixative or opened for optimal fixation. At right is a section of mouse large intestine in which the mucosal morphology is lost due to autolysis.

Additional News and Announcements

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    The Pew Charitable Trusts has invited UAB to nominate one candidate for the 2017 Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences award.
     
    The Pew Scholars Program supports assistant professors of outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health. The award provides $240,000 in flexible support-$60,000 per year for a four-year period.
    Posted by Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development | 05/10/16
  • UAB Industry-Sponsored Clinical Trials F&A Rate Will Increase Effective July 1, 2016

    ​Effective July 1, 2016, the UAB Facilities & Administrative (F&A) rate for industry-initiated and sponsored clinical trials will increase to 30%.  This change is only applicable to new submissions to the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) on or after July 1, 2016.
    This increase, which will put UAB in the mid-range among peer institutions, will be used to offset costs associated with the recently established Office of Clinical Trial Administration, in particular the purchase and implementation of new clinical trial support software programs, PowerTrials and OnCore.  Clinical trials initiation fees charged to the sponsor, such as the UAB Human Subjects Review Fee, will not be affected.
    Please note:  this rate is only applicable to qualifying industry-initiated and sponsored clinical trials and is not applicable to (1) investigator-initiated clinical trials or (2) those supported by non-profit foundations or government sponsors.   Certain terms and conditions may require application of a higher rate.
    Beginning May 15, please contact the newly appointed Director of the Clinical Trials Administrative Office (CTAO), Mark Marchant, via email at marchant@uab.edu if you have any questions about this fee.
    Posted by Office of Sponsored Programs | 05/05/16
  • New Guidance Information on IRB Website

    The OIRB has provided updated guidance information on our website.  New information has been posted regarding the following:
    • Flowchart to determine who are key personnel
    • NIH description of ethnic and racial categories
    • IRB form compatibility

    Key Personnel

    The IRB has created a flow chart to help determine whether individuals involved with research should be considered to be key personnel involved in the conduct of human subjects research.  The Key Personnel Flowchart is available under the General category on the Other Guidance page of the IRB website.

    Ethnic and Racial Categories

    The table on the Investigator's Progress Report follows the reporting requirements of the NIH. The following is their description of how the ethnic and racial categories are defined:​​

    Ethnic Categories

    • ​​Hispanic or Latino: A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.  The term “Spanish origin” can also be used in addition to “Hispanic or Latino.
    • Not Hispanic or Latino​.

    ​​​​​​Racial Categories

    • ​American Indian or Alaska Native: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North, Central, or South America, and who maintains tribal affiliations or community attachment.​
    • Asian: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam. (Note: Individuals from the Philippine Islands have been recorded as Pacific Islanders in previous data collection strategies.) 
    • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
    • Black or African American: A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. Terms such as “Haitian” or “Negro” can be used in addition to “Black or African American.”
    • White: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

    IRB Form Compatibility Issues

    IRB forms on this page are compatible with Microsoft Word 2010 and newer on Windows and Microsoft Word 2016 for Mac. Some features (e.g., checkboxes) are not compatible with older versions of Microsoft Word or any version of Pages for Mac. The newest versions of Microsoft Word are available at no charge to UAB faculty, staff, and students through UAB IT. Contact UAB IT for more information on upgrading your software. If you are unable to upgrade to a compatible version of MS Word, you may simply place an "X" before the checkbox that corresponds to your answer in the form.
     
    Posted by Office of the Institutional Review Board for Human Use | 04/22/16
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    Enhancements include:

    • Improved Search - Utilizing the search field found at the top right corner of every page on our site now yields more accurate, more relevant results, helping you find desired content easily and quickly.
    • Improved Quicklinks - Visitors can now immediately jump to desired content from our home page through the creation of an improved Quicklinks menu that links to our most demanded/visited pages based on page-view statistics.
    • Featured Pages - The website will now periodically feature pages promoting higher awareness of existing content or new content. This reinforces our commitment to providing users with effective knowledge, resources, and tools.

    For more information about changes to the new OSP website, please visit our welcome page. If you currently have forms or pages from our existing website bookmarked, these links should be automatically redirected to the new the website content. 

    For additional information, please contact Mike Matthews at mimatt@uab.edu or Jonathan Price at jonprice@uab.edu.

    Posted by Office of Sponsored Programs | 04/21/16
  • Center for Disability Health and Rehabilitation Science Guest Lecturer: Dr. Robert Motl

    Center for Center for Disability Health and Rehabilitation Science presents

    Professor Robert W. Motl, PhD
    Department of Kinesiology and Community Health Neuroscience Program
    University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign: 

    Physical Activity and Multiple Sclerosis - What We’ve Learned and Where We Need To Go

    Thursday, April 14, 2016 12:00-1 p.m.
    School of Health Professions Building Executive Learning Center, Room 640

    Bring Your Lunch

    Beverages will be provided

    To RSVP, please contact Jane Moore at (205) 934-5909 or Email: djmoore@uab.edu  no later than Noon Wednesday 4/13

    Posted by Center for Disability Health and Rehabilitation Science | 04/12/16
  • NIH eSubmission Items of Interest - March 25, 2016

    The NIH Grants and Funding website has been redesigned and simplified with a video tour available. FORMS-D Application Instructions are now available. FORMS-D Application Packages are now available for some FOAs. FORMS-C should be used for applications with due dates on or before May 24, 2016. FORMS-D should be used for applications with due dates on or after May 25, 2016.
    Posted by Office of Sponsored Programs | 03/25/16
  • NIH eSubmission Items of Interest - February 29, 2016

    NIH eSubmissions Items of Interest for February 29, 2016. FORMS-D application changes are on the way. FORMS-D must be used for applications with due dates on March 25, 2016 or after. Read full article for a preview of FORMS-D and guidance on determining when and how to use FORMS-D.
    Posted by Office of Sponsored Programs | 03/01/16
  • Reminder Regarding ASSIST Grant Applications

    As the February 5th deadline for new NIH R01 submissions approaches, OSP would like to remind you that all competing, single-project NIH grant applications can now be submitted through ASSIST.
    Posted by Office of Sponsored Programs | 01/25/16
  • Request for Nominations for Director of the Center for Structural Biology (CSB)

    ​The UAB CSB Internal Search Committee invites nominations of UAB faculty members for the position of Director of the Center for Structural Biology (CSB).  The CSB was established in 2011, and is one of 24 University-wide Interdisciplinary Research Centers (UWIRCs); it has been led by Lawrence J. DeLucas, Ph.D., since its inception.  The mission of the Center for Structural Biology is to support research and education through exploration of structure/function relationships for biological macromolecules and the development of novel technologies for biomedical research which enhance UAB’s basic and translational research goals.  Center membership includes more than 125 faculty and non-faculty members and hosts a number of on-site core facilities, as well as access to a national laboratory x-ray beam.
     
    The Director will oversee all of the interdisciplinary center activities, be a member of the Council of Center Directors and be responsible for interfacing with participating schools and managing the budget.  Nominations, including self-nominations, should include a CV and a one (1) page summary outlining the qualifications of the proposed Director and summarizing ideas and plans if appointed to the position.  The decision will be made after review and interviews by the Search Committee.
     
    Nominations should be submitted to Jamie Seitz (jbseitz@uab.edu) by Friday, January 29, 2016. 
    Posted by Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development | 01/19/16
  • MTO Change in Process for Finalized Agreement Documents

    The Material Transfer Office is changing the process for providing finalized agreements to the campus. Previously the finalized documents were emailed to the investigator, now the investigator will be notified that the finalized agreement is available for viewing through an eReport.

    Details can be found on the IRAP Website.

    Posted by Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development | 12/10/15
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