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Histopathology is the branch of Pathology concerned with the diagnosis of illnesses through the study and analysis of tissues.

The CNIO’s Histopathology Unit carries out a broad range of analyses involving human and rodent tissues, including the fixation and cutting of paraffin mounted tissue samples, extremely high quality histological staining, as well as the immunohistochemical dyes used in diagnosis and research applications. Other services available include the preparation of tissue microarrays (T.M.A.), and the digitalization and analysis of images. Likewise available through this unit are laser microdissection tools for CNIO researchers and other qualified professionals in Spain’s academic, scientific and health care communities.

The Unit has been fully equipped with the apparatus required to automatize most of the processes involved in performing the above services, and is accordingly capable of generating extremely reproducible results.
Our resources include three automatic tissue processing units (two Shandon Excelsior® Thermo devices, and one Microm® in addition to automatic platforms used with in situ hybridization and immunohistochemical procedures (three Roche-Ventana Discovery®XT, two DAKO AutostainerLink 48 and two Leica BondMax.®) Tissue microarrays can be prepared with the Beacher Automated Tissue Arrayer (ATA-27) or manually.

State-of-the-art imaging technology available in this Unit includes the Mirax® 3D Histech scanner that processes completely digitalized images (“digital or virtual slides”) and still achieves superior image quality. The system also comes with an easy-to-use software interface that allows users to compare multiple images downloaded from the Internet or Intranet.

The AxioVision platform has become indispensable as a tool for the analysis and quantification of elements in precision digital images. Custom software is also available that will further augment the ARIOL platform’s Quantification Analysis and Digital Image System capabilities in morphometric analysis. Finally, the PALM Microbeam Laser dissector is used in microdissection by laser capture, allowing for the examination of contamination-free captures.

The Unit takes part in several External Quality Assessment (EQAS) Programs such as Nordic QC, and UK NEQAS.