Past, Present, and Future of Histology

Histopathology and Histology are often combined to understand the histopathological interpretation better. It is essential to prepare the histology slides of a sample in the histology laboratory and evaluate them in the first place to determine if the cells or tissue are in a good state or diseased.


In the 19th century, histology was a well-known academic discipline, and the first half of the 20th century was a productive period for staining procedures in histology and histopathology. Various centenary staining techniques are still being used and continue to offer valuable diagnostic details. The first microscope was constructed in 1591; however, it had many optical issues. During the 19th century, paraffin came into the picture for infiltration and support during the sectioning. Over a period of time, various histopathology laboratory substances were examined to be used as fixatives.


The histology laboratory witnessed plenty of changes in the mid 20th century when plastic cassettes and disposable knives were introduced to the market. Modern techniques comprise of flow cytometry, DNA and genetics studies, telepath logy, digital imaging, and proteomics. The medical community will elongate the field of proteomics, and so histology laboratories in many hospitals will have to operate together to standardize their protocols. Telepath logy will be executed for diagnosis and consultation. But, technicians will need to be sure that a slide prepared one lab when sent for the scanning to another lab for the proper diagnosis complies with specific criteria. Therefore, specimen collection and processing will require being consistent between the laboratories.


Indeed, the future of histology demands a plethora of sections at a faster rate. Modern histopathology procedures like 3D image reconstruction need digitization of a big number of sections. The rising focus on evidence-based medicine and the inception of progressive fields like customized medicine, additional sections for peculiar stains and fast turnaround times. The histology laboratory that wants to meet the requirements of these technologies should be prepared well to enhance the turnaround times and throughout. Advanced microtome and slide strainers allow in being a part of the process; however manual section floating onto slides causes glitches in section processing.