The mission of the Washington University DDRCC is to advance research on the pathophysiology of and host-environment interactions in digestive diseases. Tissue imaging and image analysis techniques are essential tools for visualizing the spatial relationships of different cell types, and studying cellular components in the liver and gastrointestinal tract. State-of-the-art histologic, immunohistochemical, tissue imaging and image analysis are required for studies of human GI and liver disease and animal-based human disease models. AITAC personnel have extensive expertise in morphologic analysis and imaging of digestive tissues. The AITAC provides comprehensive histologic and immunohistochemical support, advanced microscopic imaging and image analysis services in an efficient and highly cost-effective manner.

The AITAC has two Components. The Tissue Analysis Component performs animal and human tissue embedding, sectioning, staining, and immunohistochemical analyses, and provides training in all services.

The Advanced Image Analysis Component provides access to and training in routine light, fluorescent and inverted fluorescent microscopy, quantitative image analysis, and access to in vivo imaging utilizing an investigator-built 2-photon microscope with complete image support for live cell and in vivo organ and tissue imaging,

The Tissue Analysis Component and most of the equipment for the Advanced Image Analysis Component (light and fluorescence microscopes) reside in a large lab in the Clinical Sciences Research Building (CSRB) North Tower (room 924) which has been recently renovated to provide a separate light-controlled room for microscopy only.

The In Vivo Imaging Core (IVIC) directed by Mark Miller, PhD, houses the 2-photon microscopy facility, located in the CSRB room 4448, a three minute walk from room 924.

Core Description

Investigators are encouraged to contact Deborah Rubin for information about services listed, for potential new services or for other consultative information. There are 4 components to this core.

  1. Histology Component: This component handles and processes all types of tissues, including making paraffin or OCT (frozen) tissue blocks, sectioning, a wide variety of special stains, and single, double and triple immunohistochemical procedures. Users of the Histology component also have access to two imaging systems, a Zeiss Axioskop 2 MOT microscope with full light and immunofluroescent capabilities (4 color fluorescence), polarizing filter for crystal analysis, attached to an Axiocam MRM Digital camera that takes black and white images that can be analyzed for multilabel immunofluorescence, and a Zeiss Axioskop 40 microscope attached to an Axiocam MRC digital colar camera, both with Pentium III and IV computers and Axiovision image analysis software. We also have added a new Zeiss Axiovert inverted microscope with an Apotome module for optical sectioning.  We have developed detailed protocols for optimization of immunohistochemical procedures for antibodies provided by the investigators. We offer training for all of the procedures and techniques mentioned above.
  2. Image analysis Component:  We offer the use of Nuance,  Inform and Zeiss image analysis software.
  3. In Vivo Imaging Core.  We offer access to the In Vitro Imaging Core, which houses the 2-photon microscopy facility directed by Mark Miller, PhD,


Service available to All entities, including for-profit organizations.

Priority service for All entities, including for-profit organizations.

Additional information:

Investigators who wish to have access to this Core must be members of the Digestive Diseases Research Core Center. To apply for membership, please visit the DDRCC website at Click on “Center Members” for a link to our membership guidelines and application.​​


  • Paraffin or OCT (frozen) tissue blocks
  • Sectioning of paraffin or frozen tissue blocks
  • Special Stains
  • Single, double and triple immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry
  • Light and epifluorescence microscopy
  • Polarizing filter microscopy
  • Image analysis with Zeiss, Nuance and Inform software
  • Training in all the above procedures
  • Access to the IVIC with 2 photon microscopy, directed by Dr. Mark Miller


  • Zeiss Axioskop 2 MOT microscope with full light and immunofluorescent capabilities (4 color)
  • Axiocam MRM Digital color and black and white cameras
  • Zeiss Axioskop 40
  • Zeiss Axiovert inverted microsope with Apotome module for optical sectioning
  • Nuance and Inform image analysis software
  • Zeiss Axiovision image analysis software
  • Two cryostats, one available for investigator use with an hourly fee
  • Olympus BX43F light microscope for routine light microscopy
  • Olympus SZX-ZB7 stereo zoom dissecting microscope
  • Microm HM 315 microtome


Pricing is subject to core verification

DDRCC AITAC Fee Schedule

Please see


​AITAC Facility​ Charges ​FULL Member Prices
​​Associate & NON-M​ember
Handling and processing of blocks
Tissue​s submitted in fixative​​​ ​$3.50 block ​$4.50
​Tissues submitted in cassettes ​$2.50 block ​$4.50
​Agarose embedded tissues ​$3.50 block ​$4.75
​Self embedding ​$3.00 block ​Service Not Offered
​Equipment Use
​Cryostat Training ​$25.00 per session ​Same
​Cryostat Usage ​$6.00 per hour ​Same
​Scope/Color ​Free ​Free
​Fluorescent scope ​Free ​Free
​Paraffin Sectioning and Staining
​Unstained ​$1.75 per slide $2.50 per slide
​HE ​$3.00 per slide ​$7.00 per slide
​Special Stain ​$3.50 per slide ​$10.50 per slide
​Frozen Sectioning and Staining
​Unstained ​​$2.50 per slide ​​$2.50 per slide
​​HE ​​$3.00 per slide ​​$7.00 per slide
​​Special Stain ​​$3.50 per slide ​​$10.50 per slide
​​Immunohistochemistry ​​
​​Core ab (call for list) ​​$15.00 per slide ​​$25.00 per slide
​​PI ab $7.50 per slide ​​$16.00 per slide
​​Tunel (Chemicon) ​$15.00 per slide ​​$25.00 per slide
​Slide printing ​​25¢ per slide ​​Same
​​RNA curls ​​$1.75 per tube ​​Same
​Cytospins​ ​$5.25 per slide ​​Same
​Slide Boxes​
​X-Small​ ​​$5.25 ​​Same
​Small​ ​$10.00 ​Same
​Medium​ ​$14.25 ​​Same
​Large​ ​​$16.00 ​Same​
​Slide Folder​ ​$7.00 ​​Same
​Priority Service Fee​ ​​ ​​
​Guaranteed 5 business day turnaround​ ​20% ​​35%
​​ ​​

Digestive Disease Research Core Center (DDRCC)