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Updated: Jul 9, 2020

We have all been there- when the budget is tight, the last thing you want to do is to

Outsourcing histology laboratory

outsource work that you feel you are capable of doing in-lab. The problem is that even though it can feel like you are saving money by doing all of the work in your laboratory, you could be losing a lot of money in the long run. Read the list below to find out why it’s almost always a smarter idea to outsource histology & histopathology services and immunohistochemistry (IHC), immunofluorescence (IF) staining:


Let’s get right into the main issue: cost. In order to get the best results, you will need to buy reagents. At first the cost of reagents may not seem very much, but let’s say you purchase all of the alcohols, xylenes, waxes (for tissue processing and embedding), blades (for tissue sectioning), primary and secondary antibodies needed to do your work. For your specific immunologic marker or staining, you will require optimization of protocols. From fixation, to the type of wax needed to embed the sample, to the accurate and non-cross-reactive primary antibody and a sensitive secondary antibody to detect the primary, you will easily run across at least a total of 20-30 variables form each step of the protocol. Even though reagents are accessible in smaller quantities, they will never be small enough for single sample use and thus, result in an ultimate waste of money.

For example, the smallest packages of sensitive IHC secondary antibody detection systems are usually enough to use on up to 30 samples. If after testing this secondary on your samples you realize that this secondary is not appropriate for your staining, you are left with 29 samples worth of the unusable secondary that will likely expire within 6-12 months. Due to wastage, the cost of purchasing reagents ends up costing more than the cost of outsourcing histology services and immunohistochemistry staining or immunofluorescence staining. NDB Bio offers competitive pricing without compromising on the accuracy of results.


After you have spent all of that time researching the best methods, reagents, and protocols, you will have not only lost money but time as well. Working through the large number of variables in the histology and staining protocols can delay results by an uncertain amount of time. Not to mention, that shipping times on certain reagents and their availability (or lack thereof) can result in even further delays. At NDB Bio, our projects have an average turnaround time of 7-10 days for common IHC markers. As a service for scientists by scientists, we understand the importance of deadlines - whether they be for grant submission, publications, or private, internal deadlines for biotechnology companies.

Our histology laboratory also provides immediate digital results upon the completion of a project - providing you with digital whole slide scans straight to your inbox. This allows you to look at the results long before the physical slides are shipped back to you. Whole slide imaging (WSI) of slides also allows you to take pictures for publications, grants, etc. or to share the image with your collaborators with a click of a button.


Did you know that false positives and negatives can often give you misleading IHC results without proper controls, especially for custom antibodies that may not be commercially available? Our experts collectively have a total of 30+ years in the field of histology, immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence staining. In our laboratory, we use a combination of positive and negative controls for a personalized approach to your project to ensure that this is never an issue. Each project and tissue sample goes through an exhaustive quality control process which ensures that the end result is of the highest quality. When you send your project to NDB Bio, we understand that accuracy is of the utmost importance and we deliver on just that. Our histology experts are committed to providing excellent results to help you achieve the results needed for your project.

Still have questions about outsourcing histology work? Our experts are on standby to talk with you about your project. Please give us a call at 410-818-0154 or email us at with any questions that you may have. Our histology service price list can also be found on our website here. We would love to speak with you about your project needs!


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