In-Vivo Animal Core Available to Assist with Histology Services

July 31, 2018

The Microscopy & Image Analysis Laboratory (MIL), part of the UMMS Biomedical Research Core Facilities, has begun phasing out all light microscopy histology services, including cryosectioning, vibratome sectioning, and paraffin processing/embedding/sectioning.

In order to ensure a smooth transition for existing customers, MIL has partnered with the Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine's In-Vivo Animal Core (IVAC) to offer fee-for-service histology.


Previously trained self-service users may continue to access the MIL histology equipment until mid-September. However, effective immediately (Tuesday, July 31, 2018), training is no longer offered. Instead, arrangements are being made for current, trained self-service users to have access to shared histology instrumentation within the Biomedical Science Research Building (BSRB).

Users previously trained on the MIL cryostat will be able to perform frozen sectioning through IVAC's North Campus Research Complex (NCRC) Building 36 location. Additional information regarding continued access to self-service equipment will be shared in the coming weeks.


The MIL BSRB location will function as a drop-off/pick-up site for room temperature samples being submitted to IVAC. IVAC histology preparation is located at NCRC, but there is a drop-off location on the Medical Campus near the Medical Science I (MSI) and Medical Science II (MSII) buildings in ARF. Please bring a completed copy of IVAC's Necropsy, Histology, & Pathology Request Form along with your sample(s).

If you have frozen samples or antibodies requiring refrigeration, you should deliver these samples directly to the IVAC MSI/MSII location in ARF yellow lock icon or the NCRC Building 36 location.

yellow lock icon Links marked with a lock icon can only be accessed using valid Level-1 U-M login credentials.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Microscopy & Image Analysis Laboratory (MIL) strives to focus on providing microscopy services of the highest quality. There is a redundancy of histology services available in other Cores on campus. As such, the MIL is discontinuing its light microscopy histology services.

In order to ensure a smooth transition for existing customers, MIL has partnered with the Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine's In-Vivo Animal Core (IVAC) to offer fee-for-service histology.

The sample submission process through IVAC will remain the same. As of September 1, the MIL Biomedical Sciences Research Building (BSRB) location will maintain a drop-off location (with request forms) for non-frozen sample submission to IVAC.

Clients with frozen samples will need to deliver them directly to IVAC. Preferred locations (i.e., more direct, manned locations) for IVAC sample drop-off(s) are 3527 ARF (phone 734-936-3803) and NCRC Building 36/G157A (phone 734-936-3395 or 734-763-1737).

IVAC slide and sample retrieval occurs at 3527 ARF (phone 734-936-3803) and NCRC Building 36/G157A (phone 734-936-3395 or 734-763-1737).

Essentially, the same samples are needed for IVAC submissions. For special requests, or to schedule a project consultation, please contact IVAC at or call (734) 647-0731.

Turnaround for routine histology is anticipated to be 2-3 weeks in 4Q18. Turnaround times are typically longer for special projects/techniques and immunohistochemistry.

IVAC offers many similar services. As expected in working with a different Core, there are some differences in prices and offerings. For example, tissue processing rates are lower but paraffin sectioning and staining rates are higher than MIL rates. A complete list of rates for IVAC services is available on the IVAC webpage.

The histology services available in IVAC are comparable to those offered by the MIL. IVAC offers full-service processing of paraffin blocks and a broad range of histochemical stains (H&E, trichrome, PAS, Verhoeff Van Gieson for elastin and others), immunohistochemistry, and additional services including digital capture of slide sections (typically at 20X magnification).

IVAC also offers necropsy services, trimming and cassetting and tissue processing, including trimming and sectioning based on detailed research requirements (e.g., trimming and sectioning mouse aortic root sections). IVAC clients will be able to cut their frozen sections as outlined below. Alternatively, IVAC can cut and stain frozen sections on a fee-for-service basis.

To begin taking advantage of IVAC’s services, please complete the IVAC Necropsy, Histology, & Pathology Form. Additional information about IVAC services, which can be utilized individually or combined as a full service, can be found on the IVAC webpage.

For special requests, or to schedule a project consultation, please email
or call (734) 647-0731.

IVAC clients will have the option to cut their frozen sections at the NCRC Building 36 IVAC Lab. Training may be minimal for individuals who already have familiarity with the cryostat, and may mostly be comprised of learning the locations of equipment and supplies, as well as necessary paperwork for the process.

Training will be longer for clients who were not recently trained on the specific cryostat. Unfortunately, IVAC does not offer clients the option to section and stain their own paraffin sections. However, IVAC's trained team of professionals looks forward to serving your research needs for both routing and custom tissue processing, sectioning, and staining.


For more information about IVAC's full-service histology laboratory, please visit the IVAC webpage. Additional questions can also be sent to IVAC Director Robert Sigler, DVM, PhD, at