The Melbourne Histology Platform provides researchers at the University of Melbourne and affiliated institutes in and outside the Parkville precinct with:
- High quality biological tissue preparation, processing and staining for histology
- A consulting service for experimental design
- Training in current and recently developed methods relating to histology
As we approach the end of a challenging year, we have some important updates regarding the Melbourne Histology Platform (MHP).News
From 1st November 2020, iLab is being used for all service requests and equipment bookings for the Melbourne Histology Platform (MHP).News
The iLab system is now available for you to book Melbourne Histology Platform (MHP) services from the 1st October 2020. Moving to iLab now provides you a more streamlined experience for booking and payment of our services.News
Say goodbye to the hardcopy service request forms, because the Melbourne Histology Platform is implementing a new booking system!News
Researchers use a range of histology techniques to answer a diverse array of research questions. We have now established a page on our website to show how the Melbourne Histology Platform has contributed to this.News
This is an important update for those using or intending to use the Melbourne Histology Platform during the gradual return to research activity. These policies will be in effect from Monday 1st June 2020 until further notice.News
After a successful application to the 2019 round of the MDHS Large Equipment Grant Scheme, we are pleased to say that MHP has added automated immunostaining to its list of capabilities with the purchase of a Dako Autostainer Link 48.News
Friday 12:30pm - 1:15pmiLab training for Principal Investigators/Laboratory HeadsEvent
Histology winter webinar seriesEvent
Thursday 12pm - 1pmResearcher Connect 'Meet the Platforms' webinarEvent
Thursday 11am - 11:30amIntroductory tour of UoM histology, histopathology & microscopy platformsEvent
Monday 1am - 1amSeminar: Sample preparation for optical and electron microscopyEvent
As well as offering a full professional histology service, the Melbourne Histology Platform can provide full training in the required histological techniques, which researchers can then perform using the equipment and facilities available on a pay-for-use basis. We work in collaboration with key University microscopy services including the Biological Optical Microscopy Platform and the BioSciences Microscopy Unit, and in collaboration with the Phenomics Australia Histopathology and Digital Slide Service.
We perform a range of core and advanced histology procedures including:
- Paraffin and frozen tissue embedding
- Paraffin, cryo-and vibro-microtome tissue sectioning
- Automated haematoxylin and eosin staining
- Routine and special staining including silver stains
- Antibody labelling/immunohistochemistry
- Sectioning and staining of a range of tissues including human, rodent, insect, plant and sea anenomes
Our technical staff have over 30 years’ combined experience in routine and specialised histology techniques.
- Sakura Tissue Tek paraffin processors (staff operated)
- Sakura Tissue Tek paraffin embedders
- Microm paraffin microtomes
- Leica CM1900 cryostat
- Leica CM1860 cryostats
- Leica VT1000 S vibrating blade microtome
- Leica autostainer XL and coverslipper (staff operated)
- Dako Link 48 automated immunostainer (staff operated)
- Primera slide printer
- Pulsar cassette printer
Complementary Platform Technologies
For more information about the wider platform community, please visit Research Website, which is available to all users.
Details about the University’s research infrastructure related resources and services can be found on Research Gateway, which is available to the University of Melbourne staff and Graduate Researchers.
- Chris Freelance
Chris is a zoologist whose research has involved the development and refinement of techniques in invertebrate histology and microscopy. Chris provides researcher consultation, holds engagement and researcher education events and guides the strategic development of Platform capabilities.
- Laura Leone
Laura has extensive experience in diagnostic and research histology. She has worked at The University of Melbourne for over a decade where she has encountered a range of samples ranging from brains and livers to leaves, sea anemones and grasshopper eggs!
- Lisa Foster
Histology Technical Officer
Lisa completed a Bachelor of Arts/Science with Honours in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience at The University of Melbourne. With a research background, she enjoys assisting clients with their histological techniques and integrating her knowledge and expertise into a variety of projects.
The [Platform] undertook some strange requests from me to cut and stain slides for an artistic project, a fringe festival show performed live on a microscope – they immediately worked out what I needed and spent the time with me to embed and cut the slides the specific way they needed to look, and was able to come up with unconventional solutions to help me achieve the right colours in the tissues. We now have a showcase of slides ready to share the beauty of the microscopic world with the public!
Creator/Performer, Alice Looking Through the Glass, Melbourne Fringe 2017
My research investigates the relationship between age and survival of populations of the critically endangered spotted tree frog Litoria spenceri impacted by chytrid fungus. We collect toe clips to use growth lines in the toe bones to age the frogs, tracking how the age structure of populations is changing with threats over time.
The Platform assisted me with processing and embedding my samples and provided training for using their paraffin microtomes to section the tissue. The staff provided guidance for adjusting my sectioning technique and for refining the staining to identify growth ring formation in periosteal bone.
Master of Science student, School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne
The root endodermis serves as a check-point for the passage of nutrients and toxicants from the soil into the vascular system of the plant. There is little known about how the secondary cell walls composed of suberin (yellow) and callose (blue) respond to nutrient deficiency and salinity.
The Melbourne Histology Platform assisted me to develop the method to section barley and rice roots using a vibratome and to develop a staining protocol. Using these images, we will discover how (i) root barrier development is regulated by nutrient supply and sodium toxicity and (ii) how root barriers mediate nutrient uptake and sodium exclusion.
Research Fellow, School of Agriculture and Food, University of Melbourne
At the Marine Microbial Symbiont Facility, we study the microbial communities of the anemone E. pallida. We use fluorescence in situ hybridization (fISH) to localise bacteria associated with anemones and their microalgal endosymbionts. The Melbourne Histology Platform processes and sections our anemones into 80+ transverse sections and provides haematoxylin & eosin stained sections flanking unstained sections for fISH. These sections have allowed us to identify microbial aggregates associated with the anemones’ acontia: a defensive tissue rich in stinging cells (A-C).
PhD candidate, School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne
My research investigated the dental pulp and odontoblast cell’s response to dental caries in normal and hypomineralised teeth. The Melbourne Histology Platform assisted with the immunofluorescent (IF) staining of sections of my teeth samples with the dentine-formation biomarkers β-Catenin and Dentine Matrix Protein 1. The Platform staff provided training and helped with the optimisation to develop a IF protocol for my biomarkers. Their equipment and expertise helped me achieve the optimal staining needed for my project.
Doctor of Clinical Dentistry (Paediatric Dentistry) student, Melbourne Dental School, University of Melbourne
The iLab booking system
From October 2020, the Melbourne Histology Platform is using an iLab booking system. This system manages all equipment bookings for trained users, as well as requests for quotes, consultation, training and service provision.
- Supervisors/lab heads must register for an iLab account prior to their researchers/lab members registering for iLab. Registration instructions can be found in the Quick Reference Guides below.
- From Monday 7th December 2020, it will be mandatory to provide financial information for billing when submitting service requests or booking equipment. This information is a valid Themis string for University of Melbourne users, or a purchase order number for external users.
Quick reference guides
The Quick Reference Guides provide an overview of how to perform tasks in the Booking System, including registering for an account, submitting requests and booking resources.
For Principal Investigators/Laboratory heads: this guide contains information for laboratory heads who need to manage Platform usage by their lab members or manage financial information. This QRG also provides instructions on how to delegate the 'Lab Manager' responsibility to one of your lab members.
For Researchers: this guide contains information for researchers who use the platform.
FAQs: this guide answers frequently asked questions about using the iLab booking system.
Requesting Services: this guide helps researchers to select which form to use to request the services they are seeking.
If answers to your questions about using the MHP booking system cannot be found in the Quick Reference Guides, please contact MHP staff for assistance.
Melbourne Histology Platform terms of access
The Melbourne Histology Platform is open to researchers from The University of Melbourne as well as researchers from other Australian universities or research institutions. Use of facilities or equipment is on a pay-for-use basis and is subject to the researcher first completing the relevant inductions and training with the Platform staff.