We are required to charge internal clients breakeven rates, which are thoroughly reviewed by both the Dean’s Office and Business & Finance Solutions, an office of Central Campus. We also offer a discount on certain services for internal clients with JCCC membership. These discounted rates will be offered while the JCCC provided funding lasts. Our goal is to further advance research without imposing a financial obstacle on the investigator.
Tissue Procurement, Storage and Provision
The TPCL assists UCLA researchers with the procurement of remnant human tissues from surgical procedures. Tissue may be released fresh, snap frozen and/or formalin fixed, paraffin embedded, as well as many other specialized request. Researchers also may request tissues stored in our CAP accredited, CLIA certified biorepository, which has been procuring and storing frozen and paraffin embedded tissue since 1998. In addition, TPCL has access to the UCLA Department of Pathology clinical archive of diagnostic blocks (dating back to 1952) containing millions of tissue blocks.
The TPCL also assists with the tissue handling and processing of all of the sponsored studies at UCLA.
We also offer long term storage of biospecimens in our 24/7 temperature monitored -80 and liquid nitrogen storage facilities.
Immunohistochemical Staining (IHC)
These services are overseen by Dr. Jonathan Said, an internationally recognized expert in IHC. Services include immunostaining of established antibodies as well as optimization of new antibodies and double staining for brightfield; TUNEL assay for apoptosis is also performed. We have a large library of established antibodies available for use on human and animal tissues (please contact [email protected] for more information). Several chromogens (DAB, Fast Red, AP Blue, AP Green) and counterstains (hematoxylin, methyl-green, nuclear fast red) are available. The detection system most frequently used is the HP system using DAB with hematoxylin counterstain.
Immunoflourescent Staining (IF)
These services are overseen by Dr. Clara E. Magyar. She has over 15 years of experience in advanced microscopy and immunofluorescence staining of both human and animal tissues. Services include staining of established antibodies as well as optimization of new antibodies for immunofluorescence on formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissue sections. For multiplex staining requests, we employ the OPAL staining kit, allowing for staining of up to 4 biomarkers plus nuclear counterstain, in addition to standard immunofluorescence staining procedures.
Laser Capture Microdissection (LCM)
Laser capture microdissection (LCM) allows researchers to analyze specific cells within a larger sample. In 2010, TPCL and the California NanoSystems Institute’s Advanced Light Microscopy/Spectroscopy (ALMS) core lab jointly purchased a Leica Laser-Microdissection (LMD) 7000. This state-of-the-art LMD technology is housed in the ALMS core, and can be accessed via keycard 24/7/365 once users complete a training class. New features of this instrument include: (1) ability to capture into varied devices, including single PCR tube caps, lab-on-a-chip devices and Petri dishes; (2) a more powerful laser that allows cutting of thick (> 100 micron) sections in a single cut; (3) more precise control of the laser settings to enable collection of individual nuclei; (4) patented beam-steering technology that enables more precise and faster dissection at every magnification; and (5) gravity collection of samples that reduces contamination. Users can sign up for training at the ALMS on-line registration site. Sections must be cut onto specialized slides. The TPCL will prepare all slides for you. Please contact [email protected] for more information.
Digital Imaging and Image Analysis Services
Digital imaging and image analysis services include state-of-the-art virtual microscopy (VM) and digital pathology (DP) (image analysis) services to the UCLA community. In VM, whole glass slides are converted to high resolution digital images (either brightfield or fluorescence) for easy archiving and retrieval, detailed magnification up to 40X, remote viewing via a web-based interface and preparation for publications and teaching - most of which can be performed from a single computer, using free software. DP includes performance of (or instruction in performing) quantitative digital image analysis studies. This includes both quantitative immunohistochemistry and analysis of other cellular characteristics (e.g., cell size). Dr. Clara Magyar directs the digital imaging/image analysis services for the core. The TPCL provides assistance with image acquisition and analysis, tips on sample preparation, and training on our image analysis systems. The TPCL houses several different scanners and image analysis programs (discussed in detail below). Scanners include the Applied Imaging Leica Aperio Versa high throughput scanning system (fluorescence, brightfield) and the Aperio ScanScope AT high throughput scanning system (brightfield, web enabled).Our automated digital analysis software is Definiens’ Tissue Studio.
Why Use Digital Imaging/image Analysis?
VM/DP permits real-time discussions of histology images posted on secure websites, eliminating barriers to the exchange of pathology information with national/international collaborators/consultants, helping to reduce inter/intra-observer variability that adversely affects quantitative histopathological analysis, improving the overall efficiency of our researchers and clinicians, and eliminating delay, damage, or loss of often irreplaceable slides during shipping between UCLA faculty and extramural sites. Images can be archived, stored indefinitely, and easily retrieved - unlike glass slides, which may be lost, misfiled, damaged or fade with time.
The TPCL houses several different scanners and image analysis programs (discussed in detail below).Scanners include the Leica Aperio Versa high throughput scanning system (fluorescence and brightfield) and the Aperio ScanScope AT high throughput scanning system (brightfield, web enabled). For image analysis, we use Definiens’ Tissue Studio.
- Aperio ScanScope AT. The ScanScope AT is an automated scanning system that utilizes Aperio's linear-array scanning technology to produce high quality images of whole slides at either 20x (standard) or 40x. Using the ImageScope software, users can view images on a continuum of magnifications ranging from 1x to the maximum scanned magnification. Additionally, users can make annotations on their images and export TIFF and JPEG snapshots from the field of view. The software permits simultaneous display of multiple scanned slides. Multiple images can also be "locked" so that all slides move synchronously, which allows users to follow same region from slide to slide. Scanned slide images are saved to a local server DVD, or external hard drive along with a copy of the ImageScope software. The ScanScope AT system is ideal for brightfield imaging and has been utilized at the TPCL for research, publications, teaching (Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA), and archiving of slides.
- Leica Aperio Versa. Versa is an automated scanning microscope. With Leica Aperio Versa, we are able to scan fluorescent and brightfield slides at a magnification of 20X, 40X or 63X (oil). For immunofluorescent staining, Versa is currently capable of detecting up to 5 probes/fluorochromes (Dapi, Fitc, Cy3/TxR/Tritc, Cy5 and Cy7).
- Definiens. Definiens offers the world's most advanced technology for extracting intelligence from images. Instead of examining a given image pixel by pixel, Definiens' segmentation and classification processes recognize groups of pixels as objects, picking out shapes,colors and textures. The technology examines objects in relationship to each other, and can understand scale, overlapping objects and the relationship of two-dimensional images to three-dimensional shapes. Using these factors, the technology identifies individual objects within an image and makes precise and detailed measurements. It can handle the inherent variability in living organisms and can even recognize anomalies, such as an abnormal tumor cell. Definiens' technology will enable us to analyze vast numbers of images quickly and accurately. Definiens also has the capability of analyzing entire images from many different platforms and formats thereby allowing the users of the TPCL a greater deal of versatility in the type of images that may be analyzed.