Click Here for a PDF Version

Histo_Pic1 The Histomorphometry and Molecular Analyses Core (HMAC) provides state-of-the-art histology and histomorphometric analysis of bone samples. The present location in the basement of Lyons Harrison Research Building has approximately 2500 square feet of space in close proximity to researchers who utilize our services.

Frozen Section – Mouse tibia
Alkaline Phosphatase


Processing bone tissue requires highly specialized techniques, unique equipment, and technical expertise. Histological sections may be obtained on fresh frozen bones, decalcified and paraffin-embedded bones, or on non-decalcified, plastic-embedded bones.  We also process all types of biomaterials, including engineering scaffolds.


 H&E – mouse spine – EDTA decal
           metastatic breast cancer


Histo_Pic3 Histo_Pic4

Methyl Methacrylate
Goldner’s Trichrome

Methyl Methacrylate
von Kossa

The lab can process bones and produce ground sections on specimens which contain implants, by using the Exakt® cutting and grinding system.

Histo_Pic5 Histo_Pic6
Ground section
Orthopedic implant
Ground section
Methylene blue – Basic fuchsin

Analysis is performed on samples from mouse, rat, rabbit, dog, monkey, and human tissue. Other services include a wide array of special stains and immunohistochemistry, as well as histomorphometrical analysis of the bone sections.

Histomorphometry studies may utilize standard bone histomorphometry (performed using the methods of Parfitt et. al.), or customized templates created for use with our Bioquant® Image Analysis Software. Histomorphometry can be used to estimate cell numbers, positively labeled cells, cell volume, or distance measurements. It can be used to measure the amount of protein present in a section by comparison with the integrated optical density of a known standard.

Four types of primary measurements are usually made—area, length (or perimeter), distance between point or lines, and number. These referents, such as tissue volume, bone volume, bone surface, and osteoid surface are used to derive other indices, such as trabecular number, trabecular thickness, and trabecular separation, as well as numbers of cell types per millimeter of bone surface.

Dynamic measurements are made using unstained sections. Fluorescent measurements are made of single-labeled surface, double-labeled surface, and interlabel width. Applying the interlabel period, it is possible to calculate the Mineral Apposition Rate, as well as formation and resorption rates, and remodeling cycle duration.

Histo_Pic7 Histo_Pic8
Trabecular Bone
Trabecular bone (same image)
Tetracycline labeled - FITC

Users may choose to be trained by the HMAC staff on the Bioquant® software, and do their own measurements using our software. This enables them to save money, as well has have more “hands-on” in the generation of their data.

Histo_Pic9 Histo_Pic10

Our laboratory has assisted researchers from such diverse departments as Nutrition Science, Pathology, Microbiology, Gerontology, Hematology/Oncology, Biomedical Engineering, Orthopaedics, Neuropathology, Neuroscience, Rheumatology, Dental Biomaterials, Cell Biology and Physics.

All Services to members of the CMBD are available at a charge commensurate with our cost. Outside work will be accepted as time permits, with a 5% surcharge to non-NIH funded institutions.  Industry customers please contact lab manager for pricing.  (These prices are for bone samples... please contact us for projects involving teeth.)

For more information and to obtain a copy of the “Order Form” contact the Laboratory Manager, Dezhi Wang, M.D., HTL, the Core’s Co-Director, Shi Wei, M.D., Ph.D., or the HMAC Principal Investigator, Gene P. Siegal, M.D., Ph.D.

1919 7th Avenue S.
Birmingham, AL 35294-0007

                   REQUEST FORM              

Memo to Customers @ ETOH Fixation on Non-decal Bone

Dezhi Wang, M.D., HTL, QIHC(ASCP), Laboratory Manager
Email:, Phone: 205-934-2007

Shi Wei, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Director
Email:, phone: 205-996-7995

Gene P. Siegal, M.D., Ph.D., Director, HMAC
Email:; Phone: 205-934-6608