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NeuroScience Associates

Embedding & Sectioning


MultiBrain® Technology is the cornerstone of the high quality and efficient neurohistologic processing performed by NeuroScience Associates (NSA Labs®), who is the ONLY provider of MultiBrain® services in the world.

–NSA is able to perform neurohistology up to 40X faster than traditional methods–

This mass-processing technology enables NSA Labs® to embed multiple tissues together in a solid matrix to be processed as a single unit. For example: 16 rat brains, 25 mouse brains, or 40 mouse brain hemispheres are embedded into a single block. The technique was developed to achieve uniformity of staining across cases, to provide built-in quality control, and to make subsequent analysis more efficient. (Also see MultiCord® for details on spinal cord embedding.)



MultiBrain® Features:

  • Unified processing of multiple brains
  • Uniform thickness of sections
  • Uniform staining across all sections
  • Variety of possible layouts, and orientations


40 Mouse Brains
Coronal Nissl-Stained

MultiBrain® Advantages:

  • Accelerated histology up to 40X faster than traditional methods
  • Simpler, more rapid comparative analysis
  • Flexibility to retroactively stain adjacent sections
  • Inherent quality control

MultiBrain® principles can be applied to a variety of tissue types, orientations and numbers

16 Rat Brains
Coronal Nissl-Stained

20 Mouse Brains
Sagittal Campbell-
Switzer AD-Stained

25 Mouse Brains
Coronal Nissl-Stained

Analysis of slides is accelerated through MultiBrain® Technology

16 rat brains were sectioned together in
a single block, and stained with the blood
brain barrier compromise stain. Note the
differences that can be easily observed
across groups and doses by having all of
the sections on the same MultiBrain® slide.





MultiBrain® services enable researchers to more-efficiently design experiments and significantly-accelerate neuroanalysis. Making valid comparisons across treatment groups and controls has never been easier or faster!

How does it work?



1. Clients send brains to NSA.

Ideally the brains are stored in Post Fixation Buffer Solution and shipped overnight. NSA will perform the brain removal when requested.


2. Multiple brains are embedded into each block.

NSA embeds up to 40 brains per block. The researcher can specify the location of each brain in the block using the appropriate Block Map Template. This enables efficiencies in subsequent neuroanalysis. Specimens are encased by the gelatin matrix, not infiltrated; therefore, the matrix has no effect on staining. Specimens are encased by the matrix, not infiltrated; therefore the matrix has no effect on staining.

3. The block is freeze-sectioned.

Sectioning is performed with a sliding microtome, producing MultiBrain® sheets of sections, in thickness ranging 30–80µ based on the researcher’s specifications. All sections that are cut are collected into an antigen preserve solution, optimal for all stains and for long-term storage, creating a resource of sections.

4. A resource of sections is created.

With MultiBrain® processing, every free-floating sheet that is cut is collected into a series of 24 cups (NSA default) containing antigen preserve solution. Each succeeding sheet is placed into the next cup in the series of 24, and the process cycles back to cup 1 for the 25th section. Therefore, each cup contains 1 of every 24th cut section; adjacent cups contain adjacent serial sets of sections. The result is a valuable “resource of sections” that provides ample material for several initial stains as well as subsequent stains as needed. The remaining sections can be stored at NSA Labs® for potential future staining or shipped to the client for storage and/or to perform their own staining.

5. The designated sections are stained.

For example, when processing mouse brains, we typically stain every sixth section with each stain selected by our client. To accomplish this, we would stain tissues from cups 1, 7, 13 and 19 with Stain “A”. A second stain, Stain “B”, could then be applied to the adjacent set of sections, in cups 2, 8, 14 and 20. The remaining cups are available, from which clients can request other stains, whether planned in advance or warranted based on results from the first set of stains. Clients may also request specific cup(s) be shipped to them for their own staining.


6. Finished slides are shipped back to the client.

The stained slides are anatomically ordered and labeled by NSA. The entire process from receipt of tissue at NSA to shipment of slides is usually about 3-4 weeks. Any remaining free-floating sections may be returned at the conclusion of the histology and/or stored at NSA for a fee.


Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions


Also see MultiCord® Technology for spinal cord embedding solution

Multiple Embedding of Rat Brains

1. Client brains sent to NSA.

2. 16 rat brains are embedded in one block.


3. Block is frozen and cut into sections.


4. A resource of sections is created.

Serial sections


5. Sections are stained and mounted on slides.

Above sample is a Thionine stain on rats.

6. Slides are anatomically ordered and labeled, then sent to client.

COVID-19 IMPACT: Our labs are currently OPEN for business. We are fully operational with uninterrupted delivery services ready to receive your tissue.


For clients with projects in process: NSA will communicate with you prior to shipping materials to ensure you are able to accept deliveries. If you are unable to receive deliveries due to the current global situation, NSA will hold shipments at our facility until your delivery system returns to normal. If you have not added digital imaging to your order but need it to expedite or continue your research, contact us right away so we can work together to meet your needs.

For clients with tissues, sections and/or slides located at our facility: Please allow us to help you continue your research, particularly if you are working remotely. We are able to perform additional stains, digitize slides for secure remote viewing, and perform additional analysis. Contact us today via email at or using our contact form.

For new clients: We are ready to assist you with all of your neurohistology needs. We are open and fully operational with uninterrupted delivery services ready to receive your tissue.. This is a dynamic situation and we will update this message as things change.

NSA strives to minimize the impact of this global situation on your research and the neuroscience community as a whole. We wish you and yours the best as we maneuver through uncharted waters. Please contact us if we can assist you in any way.