Supported by a P30 grant from the NIDCD, the EPL Histology Core strives to develop and refine techniques for histological analysis, particularly as applied to the study of the inner ear.
Cochlear Dissection for Whole-Mount Immunostaining
We have prepared a 35-minute Cochlear Dissection Video illustrating how to harvest the entire organ of Corti from an adult mouse ear and prepare it for viewing with high-power objectives, to produce confocal images such as that shown to the right.
Mapping Cochlear Length to Cochlear Frequency
Once the organ of Corti has been dissected into component pieces, reconstructing the total length and converting cochlear location to cochlear frequency is simplified with this ImageJ Plug-in, which fits spline curves to user-defined arcs superimposed on the cochlear pieces and displays the locations of half-octave intervals of cochlear frequency. Mapping functions for mouse, cat, guinea pig and rat are built-in options.
Plastic Embedding and Thick Sectioning for Temporal Bone Histopathology
When high-resolution analysis of all structures of the inner ear is required, plastic embedding of aldehyde fixed and osmium post-fixed tissue can provide much better tissue preservation than conventional paraffin embedding. Material can be sectioned at 40 um for light-microscopic analysis, and then re-embedded for ultrathin sectioning and ultrastructural analysis. For details, see Araldite Embedding.