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
Our research involves working with primary human nasal epithelial (HNE) organoids. It was a challenge to preserve the complex tissue architecture of air-liquid interface (ALI) differentiated HNE. The [Platform] helped us work out a immunohistochemistry protocol and embed and cut the slides – the H&E staining revealed the complexity of the pseudostratified epithelium with apical cilia and the presence of spheroids embedded within the epithelium with luminal cilia. The ALI-HNE recapitulate key features of the nasal epithelium, making them the perfect model for human respiratory infections, including SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19!
Elizabeth Vincan (Professor) and Bang Tran (Research Fellow)
Department of Infectious Diseases, Melbourne Medical School, 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
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
This project involved a collaboration between the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, (The University of Melbourne) and the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) to develop a new surgical device called Retinal Thermofusion (RTF) that was validated in a rabbit retinal detachment model. Rabbit eyecups were processed by the Melbourne Histology Platform to give retina cross-sections stained with H&E. As shown above, this allowed us to distinguish between regions of normal retina (B), transition between repaired and detached retina (D) and within repaired retinal hole (C). The cross-sections provided us with histopathological evidence of successful retinal reattachment post surgery as indicated by fusion of the RPE to the choroid tissue (C).
Anh Hoang (Research Assistant) and Bang Bui (Associate Professor)
Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, 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