Immunohistochemical Staining (IHC Assay Development Service)

Immunohistochemical Staining (IHC Assay Development Service)

IHC Assay Specifics

Immunohistochemical assays are a widely-used technique in oncology research and general biological studies. The assays involve the staining of tissues, rather than cells, to determine the location of given proteins in a tissue sample. The information gained from such assays can be essential in determining the in vitro effects of compounds and the distribution of drugs within a tissue sample. The assays are used during pre-clinical studies done in vitro, as tissue structure can have significant effects on the activity of a drug in a living organism.

Usually an IHC staining involves the precise slicing of a tissue sample. This allows for just one layer of cells to be present on a staining slide. The cells are then treated with an antibody solution that enters the cells and binds to target proteins. Afterwards, the antibodies can be tagged with fluorescent markers and imaged using a variety of instruments. The resulting images can show the concentration of proteins (or drugs) within a tissue sample, giving information regarding the biodistribution of compounds within a sample. Highly detailed and precise images can also reveal the distribution of a protein or compound in specific cells of tissue samples. This information can usually be obtained using immunocytochemical assays, but highly precise immunohistochemical assays can also provide it. The distribution of a protein or compound in a cell can give information as to what cellular organelles are involved in the processing of the compound, and where potential mechanisms of action can take place. This microlevel distribution can then be used with the macroscale distribution of a protein or compound in a tissue sample to determine both biodistribution aspects and what kind of cells are more prone to acquiring the desired material.

Because IHC assays require very careful precision in slicing tissue samples and preparing slides for imaging, many companies offer machine-operated IHC staining services. These machines are far more capable of precise movements than humans, and can allow for far more detailed imaging. Since the assays generate an image, they can sometimes be quantitative if precise fluorescence measurements are conducted. However, immunohistochemical assays are mostly used for research into compound activities in a tissue sample and how tissue structure can affect drug functionality.

Altogen Labs IHC Services

Altogen Labs immunohistochemical staining services are available for formalin-fixed, fresh, untrimmed tissue samples, paraffin-embedded tissue blocks, specimens in preservative, or slides (unstained). Company scientists process the specimens and embed the preserved specimens in paraffin blocks, section the blocks using a microtome, treat the frozen sections with OCT compound, and further section the samples with a cryostat to yield 3-µm specimens, and stain the slides with hematoxylin and eosin. Altogen Labs offers optimization of experimental conditions for the primary antibody, including concentrations and incubation times, interpretation of the immunostaining results, and slide staining. Company scientists offer cell line slides and tissues from a variety of organs if a laboratory cannot provide the tissue sample.

For IHC assay development, please contact us at for more information. Experimental details will help us to provide an accurate quote.