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State-of-the-art histological analysis of tissues and fluorescent imaging are important aspects of the research for University of Montana investigators. Using histological techniques, it is possible to monitor tissue remodeling and cellular infiltration as a result of disease or toxicant exposure. The inclusion of fluorescent imaging in research allows examination of the subcellular distribution of molecules and potential interactions between molecules of interest. Consultation on the design, implementation and interpretation of imaging and histological data is a key component of this shared resource facility.



The MHFI Core’s primary light microscope is an upright Nikon E-800, with Brightfield, DIC and fluorescence capabilities.  Digital images are generated with an Olympus DP71 CCD camera. The cellSens software includes Extended Focus Image (EFI) to create a manual z stack as a single image and Multiple Image Array (MIA) for image stitching.

Objectives include:

  • 4X/0.13 NA  Plan Fluor
  • 10X/0.30 NA Plan Fluor
  • 20X/0.50 NA Plan Fluor
  • 40X/0.75 NA Plan Fluor
  • 60X/1.40 NA oil Plan-Apochromat
  • 100X/1.40 NA oil Plan-Apochromat

Fluorescence Filter sets: DAPI, FITC, Texas Red, and FITC/TR

The MHFI Olympus FV1000 laser scanning confocal microscopy system is capable of obtaining multicolor, 3D images of living cells in a controlled environment. It can also perform spectral unmixing to allow resolution of fluorescence overlap and Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy. Laser lines available include 405, 458, 488, 515, 559 and 635nm.

Confocal laser scanning microscopy permits high resolution optical sectioning without compromising specimen integrity. Some advantages of using confocal microscopy include:

  • Elimination of out of focus planes, yielding sharper images than conventional fluorescence microscopy.
  • Analysis of thick specimens.
  • Computer controlled microscopy, permitting fine focus control and digitization of images.
  • Collection of data sets for subsequent three dimensional reconstruction.
  • Ability to collect two images simultaneously from specimens labeled with multiple fluorochromes.



  • Assistance in experimental design, data analysis and developing new methods is available by appointment with the Staff Scientist.
  • Resources and technical support are also offered through the Core.  Contact the Staff Scientist.

Rate Charges:







Processing and embedding paraffin blocks*

(Min $25/run, Max charge $40/run)

$4/ block independent use

$6/ block operator rate



Depar/ Dehydration Series- manual

$1/run independent use

$10/run operator rate



Paraffin sections


Unstained sections

$4/slide operator rate

Hematoxylin & Eosin stain*

$25/ run independent use


$6/slide operator rate, min $25

Trichrome stain*


Special staining techniques

$10/ slide



Microtome use*

$5/hr independent use

$25/ hr operator rate



Use of cryostat*

$5/hr independent use

$25/hr operator rate





Confocal Imaging*

$15/hr independent use

$50/hr operator rate                                                 



Fluorescence/ Transmission Imaging

$10/hr independent use

$25/hr operator rate




$70/hr operator rate


*For experienced users only. All use must be pre-scheduled and users pre-screened.


Prices subject to change without prior notice, due to reagent cost variables.

Usage will be billed monthly on an hourly basis (in 15 minute increments.)

Rates are to be reviewed yearly by an Internal Advisory Committee.  Rates are based on the operating costs of the Core (salaries, supplies, service contracts), instrument usage, and rates at similar facilities.  Services will be billed on a monthly basis.