SERI Morphology Core

Director: Pablo Argüeso, PhD, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School,  Dept. of Ophthalmology

Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass. Eye and Ear, 20 Staniford Street, Boston, MA 02474

Core Summary:

The Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass. Eye and Ear (SERI) Morphology Core provides technical assistance and services for light, confocal, and electron microscopy. Priority will be given to SERI PI Researchers with NIH-NEI R01 Grants as we are principally funded through a NIH-National Eye Institute P30 Core Grant (P30EY003790). Routine histology sample preparation services include: Routine histological processing, sectioning and staining for frozen, paraffin, methacrylate and epoxy resin tissue preparations. Complete transmission electron microscopy (TEM) service includes; automated processing of tissue, semi-thin and thin sectioning of cell and tissue samples, TEM imaging and digital image acquisition (FEI Tecnai G2 Biotwin Spirit TEM with a AMT Camera). The Core Facility Staff assists with technical problems, procedures, and training on instrumentation inclusive of; Ocular histology & electron microscopy protocols, cryostat sectioning, brightfield, fluorescence, confocal and electron microscopy. The SERI Morphology Core provides training on two Leica confocal microscopes (SP5 & SP8), Nikon Epifluorescent Microscopes, and a Leica LMD laser microdissection system for SERI Researchers. For PHS, External PHS Academic, and External Industry Clients please contact us with service requests prior to ordering with PCMS in order to potentially accommodate your needs.


  1. Technical assistance and sample preparation for light, electron, and confocal microscopy. Services include; frozen, paraffin, methacrylate, epoxy processing and sectioning and complete transmission electron microscopy services.
  2. Equipment resource, housing a new laser microdissection system, two confocal microscopes (Leica SP5 & SP8 Inverted), automated histology and transmission electron microscopy tissue processors, ultramicrotomes, cryostats, various fluorescence and phase microscopes and printers to process digital images.
  3. Consultation for various histology, electron microscopy and microscopy procedures and troubleshooting, and training on all microscopes.

Personnel/Contact Information:

Core Manager & EM Specialist: Philip Seifert
Phone: (617) 912-0209

Histology Technician: Bianai Fan
Phone: (617) 912-0209

Research Technician: Xinyao Hu
Phone: (617) 912-0209


Location of Core:

Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass. Eye and Ear, SERI Morphology Lab (Room 139), 20 Staniford Street, Boston, MA 02474


Please limit sample identification to 6 or less digits/letters in length (e.g. 302OD, 302OS)

Paraffin (Full Service includes, H&E staining and unstained slides for immunostaining)

Methacrylate (i.e. GMA resin)

Frozen Sectioning (includes, H&E staining and unstained slides for immunostaining)

Semi-Thin (1-micron) Epoxy (e.g. Tol. blue & PPD axon staining)

Conventional Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM, includes; semithin sectioning, ultramicrotomy, grid staining and 1 hour TEM imaging time/sample)

Training on various Brightfield, Fluoresence, Laser Microdissection and Confocal Microscopes

3D Printing (additive FDM ROBO 2 printer, PLA and ABS filament)

Wide Format Poster Printing

Getting Started:

To create a new customer account and to request services for an existing account please Click Here.

Service Request Instructions:

Instruction PDF

1) Please Identify all samples along with species, fixative, stain (H&E, PAS, Tol. Blue, or PPD), # of Unstained slides, orientation, sectioning details and inform us of any special requests to the 'Additional information about the Project / Request' text box.

2) Print out all Morphology sample 'Service Requests' and submit the printed form along with samples to SERI  Morphology Personnel in SERI room 139 Core Lab.

3) For Poster printing, please attach PPT and PDF files to Service Request page submissions. 

4) Client Computer is available in Room 139 Lab for accessing and printing Service Requests, if needed.

5) All publications and presentations from work received through the SERI Morphology Core must include the following in the Acknowledgements or funding sources;  NIH National Eye Institute Core Grant P30EY003790.

UPDATED 6-10-2020

New MEE Research Phase 2, SERI Morphology Core Services policies and procedures for equipment use and services have been established. The details are listed below: 

Training & Assistance

  • All the new users need to register and request training through the PCMS Partner website;

  • Once you submit the training request, Xinyao Hu will contact you to schedule your training session. The training will happen through Zoom video and operation instruction with digital files instead of same room instruction.
  • Any technical issue may need a Zoom session with Xinyao.
  • If Xinyao Hu needs to directly check the issue with the microscope system, please leave the room until the issue is solved and communicate via email or phone.

Procedure to Clean and Disinfect SERI Morphology Core Microscope Areas 

  • Face mask must be worn
  • Due to the maximum occupancy limitations within the microscope rooms, no more than 1 scheduled and trained user is permitted to use the microscope system. You are not allowed to have others observe at a distance in the room.
  • Every user needs to clean and disinfect microscope BEFORE and AFTER their work session.
  • · Use Sparkle solution and DI water with lens tissue to clean any core facility microscope objective lens. Do NOT use any other solution and do not use Kimwipes on objective lenses.
  • · Use 70% Ethyl Alcohol spray bottles and kimwipes to disinfect the touched surfaces of the microscope, computer workstation, accessories and any other applicable surfaces.
  • · All users are responsible to fully document the disinfection and user logs.

Scheduling and Use of the Cryostat Room 139


  • · The Leica CM1850 Cryostat in Room 139 is now a part of ‘139 Area 2’ and can be scheduled using the PCMS equipment schedule;
  • · Only 1 person is allowed in Area 2 which is the bay that also includes the Paraffin Processor/embedding center, Microscope, and Glass Knife maker.
  • · Please schedule ahead at least 24 hours in advance and note that schedule may be limited in the morning before 10:30AM and around 3 pm due to the use of other equipment in Area 2.
  • · All previous Cryostat 139 trained users can schedule Area 2 within their PCMS accounts.
  • · Use 70% Ethyl Alcohol spray bottles and kimwipes to disinfect the touched surfaces of the cryostat, accessories and any other applicable surfaces.
  • · All users are responsible to fully document the disinfection log.

Drop Off & Pick Up Area (Room 139)

Use PCMS website to generate a service request;


  • · Please label the SMORPH service request number on the container or plate of samples and submit tissue samples in the designated ‘DROP OFF’ tray area beside the printer on the center bench in Room 139. For refrigerated samples (e.g. optic nerves and TEM samples) label the SMORPH Service request number on the container or plate of samples and place them in the refrigerator.
  • · There is hand sanitizer on the bench to use.
  • · All completed slides and samples can be picked up in the ‘PICK UP’ tray area beside the printer on the center bench in Room 139.
  • · Please email and schedule with Philip Seifert if you need ½ Karnovsky’s fixative which will be available in room 139 Refrigerator.

BYOP (Bring Your Own Pen) 

  • · Please remember to bring and use your own pens to make notes and document your cleaning, disinfection and use. The Morphology Core will no longer provide general use pens and please remember to take your pens with you after your microscope or Cryostat session.