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Nemours Biomedical Research

(302) 651-6884

Muscle Enzyme Histochemistry & IHC Lab

Nemours Biomedical Research

Muscle Enzyme Histochemistry and IHC Lab

The Muscle Enzyme Histochemistry and IHC Lab is part of the Department of Biomedical Research at Nemours. Located on the campus of the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, the lab serves as both a diagnostic lab, providing diagnostic services for Muscle Enzyme Histochemistry and Immunodiagnostics, and a core lab.

The Muscle Enzyme Histochemistry Lab supports the Mission – Vision – Values of the Nemours, the duPont Hospital for Children and Nemours Biomedical Research.

Lab Equipment & Staff

Our Staff
Heather Hardy, HT(ASCP), Technical Director

The Core uses a team approach with technicians, technologists, and physicians working together to meet the needs of the patients. ASCP — board certified technicians work under the supervision of the Director and Technical Coordinator. The staff can refine and develop staining protocols. Technicians are familiar with many different detection systems for both histology and cytology. Team members each contribute their own special expertise to the Core Service to provide a comprehensive diagnostic histology service.

Current Lab Group
  • Heather Hardy, Technical Director
  • Bobbie Boyce, Histology Specialist III
  • Terry Kokas, Histology Specialist III
  • Brian Owens, Clinical Research Assistant I, HT (ASCP)

The lab is equipped with excellent instrumentation, and maintains LEAN principles of operation.

Our instrumentation includes:
  • automated Leica microtomes and research cryostats, processor and embedding center
  • Sakura automated H & E stainer
  • LabVision 360 immuno stainer
  • Olympus BX-60 fluorescent microscope
  • Olympus BX 40 light microscope with Imaging Center and ImagePro Software (6.2)
  • Leica Laser Micro-Dissection system and Shandon Cytospin.

Our Commitment

Serving the children of the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and many outside facilities, the Core Lab performs complex clinical diagnostic testing and is dedicated to the Mission, Vision and Values of Nemours. The Core Lab offers a diverse list of immunofluorescent and immunohistochemical testing, including protocols for kidney and cardiac tissue, and specializes in muscle enzyme histochemistry testing.

  • Mission: The health of the children by caring for the child’s body, mind and spirit
  • Vision: National leadership in the delivery of healthcare to children
  • Values: Quality, Research, Individuality, Learning, Stewardship, Trust, Tradition and Integrity

Learn More About Submitting Samples »

Testing Services

Helpful information about preparing and submitting a sample, shipping, and billing.

Test Categories
  • Routine Histology
  • Special Stains
  • Enzyme Histochemistry
  • Immuno Fluorescence
  • Immuno Histochemistry
  • Cytochemistry
  • In-Situ Hybridization
Sample Preparation & Submission

(Snap Freezing Required)


Liquid nitrogen
Isopentane (2-methylbutane)
8% tragacanth

Equipment Needed

Stainless steel beaker
Dewar, Cork

For Snap Freezing

Sample size should be 50 -100 mg of tissue (the approx. size of 1 to 2 [#2] pencil erasers).

  • The isopentane should be pre-chilled: Place the isopentane in a metal beaker suspended in the liquid nitrogen for 2-3 minutes, or until a white frost appears around the inside of the beaker (insufficient pre-chill will result in freezing artifact in the sample).
  • While beaker is in pre-chill: Mount the sample onto a piece of cork (1.5 x 1.5 x 0.5 cm) in transverse section, with a small dollop of 8% tragacanth gum (from bottom up, you should have cork, tragacanth, then sample) The sample should not be placed down into the tragacanth, but rather just anchored at the base.
  • The sample mounted on the cork should then be completely immersed in the pre-chilled isopentane and agitated for 45-60 seconds. Smaller samples will require less time in the isopentane. Larger samples should be divided into smaller pieces, measuring relatively, as noted above. Once snap-frozen, the sample should be transferred to a pre-chilled container (-20°C or colder), and packed deeply into 5-7 lbs of dry ice for shipment by FedEx, or stored at -70°C until transported.
Shipping Instructions

Samples for enzyme histochemistry and immunofluorescence require snap-frozen tissue. A snap-frozen sample must be shipped by FedEx overnight first delivery*, or by pre-arranged courier. FedEx instructions are included. Courier deliveries are accepted between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Additional Instructions
  • The snap-frozen sample should always be shipped in 5-7 lbs of dry ice.
  • Please call the lab prior to mailing any sample and always provide the FedEx tracking number to us.
  • We will contact you when slides are ready to be returned and supply the return tracking number to you.

* Please do not ship samples after Thursday within a normal work week. Samples are not accepted on holidays and weekends.

Ship to:
Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children

Department of Biomedical Research
Muscle Histochemistry Lab / ARB 264
1600 Rockland Road
Wilmington, DE 19803
Attention: Heather Hardy /ARB 264

Turnaround Time

Turnaround time for a standard histochemistry panel is generally 5-7 business days (with IF, 5-10 business days). Once testing is completed, your sample slides will be returned to you by FedEx, and the appropriate charges will be applied.

Special histochemistry and/or immuno-histochemistry (IHC) are also available and listed on our request form with CPT and charge. Services from the lab represent the technical services only and do not include interpretation or professional consultation.

Billing & Payment

The charges for our technical services are listed on the sample request form (included) with the appropriate CPT code. Our CLIA certification number is listed above.

All payments are made facility to facility, by pre-approved Business Associates Agreement (BAA). We do not accept any samples requiring direct patient billing. Agreement arrangements can be made through Greg Stets, Assistant Administrator for Research (302-651-6804), and require an open P.O. from the requesting facility. Samples will not be accepted until an approved/signed document is in place.

Use these downloadable forms:

Contact Billing Services
Bobbie Boyce

Lab Billing and Coordinator
(302) 651-6771

Contact Muscle Enzyme Histochemistry and IHC Lab

Heather Hardy, HT(ASCP)

Technical Director
Phone: (302) 651-6827 (office)
(302) 651-6771 (lab)
Fax: 302-651-5010


Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
1600 Rockland Road
Wilmington, DE 19803


Additional Inquires

Billing Services
Bobbie Boyce

Lab Billing and Coordinator
(302) 651-6771

Business Associates Agreements
Denise Axsmith

Sr. Budget/Financial Analyst
(302) 651-6802

Research Administration
Greg Stets

Assistant Administrator
(302) 651-6804