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NeuroScience Associates

Large Format™ Technology


The embedding and sectioning of large brains is achieved utilizing many of the principles of MultiBrain® Technology (How Does it Work). This Large Format™ Technology enables NSA to section large intact brains continuously without the need to subdivide into slabs or cubes – no interruptions to the anatomy!  Below are images of brains from relatively small species routinely processed by NSA on 2”x 3” slides, typically sectioned at 40µ, shown with Nissl staining.





Large Format™ Technology including Human Brain Hemispheres

For larger brains, a specially designed stage and a modified hydraulically driven microtome are used, resulting in 3”x 5” slides for grizzly bear brains, and for human brain hemispheres. Large sections such as these are typically cut at 60–80µ and are mounted by NSA intact on a single slide.

largeformatsectioningKey preparation elements for successfully processing human and other large brains (see for more specific, up-to-date information)

  • Minimize the time from death until formaldehyde fixation.
  • At brain removal, perfuse fix through the vasculature.
  • Store the brain in a large volume (5-10X brain volume) of buffed formaldehyde and/or change regularly.
  • NEVER FREEZE the tissue.

NSA works with tissue in a variety of conditions, but best results are achieved using the guidelines above.

Contact NSA to discuss your specific needs.


  • There is uniformity of staining and section thickness across the entire intact section of the human brain hemisphere.
  • For stereology, only intact, adjacent sections yield sampling that is compliant with stereologic principles.
  • The inclusion of adjacent structures on the same slide provides anatomical coherence and a comprehensive perspective of the brain, even when a small area of the brain is the focus.







Pictured is a section from a human brain stained with thionine to reveal cell bodies, including magnification.





Tissue Resources for Researchers

NSA can provide recommendations for organizations that bank human brain tissue with specific characteristics (disease, genetic traits, etc.). Some organizations offer specified tissue for purchase. Other organizations grant requested tissue to researchers that fulfill certain requirements, such as use for research or educational purposes.

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.