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    An introduction to the theory and practice of histotechnology, cytology and diagnostic electron microscopy.

    Histology is the microscopic study of normal tissue. Histopathology is the discipline concerned with producing accurate diagnostic information from patient tissue samples. Diseases such as infection, inflammation and cancer are recognised by typical microscopic changes in tissues. Histotechnique is the technical procedure used to preserve cells and tissue as close as possible to their living state so that they can be visualised under a microscope. The study of structure, function and chemistry of cells is known as Cytology. It is a branch of biology that deals directly with the structural and functional organisation of cells. Cytopathology studies the microscopic appearance of cells, especially for the diagnosis of abnormalities and malignancies.

    About this paper

    Paper title Elements of Histotechnology
    Subject Medical Laboratory Science
    EFTS 0.125
    Points 15 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,130.25
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    Limited to
    Passed all second-year Medical Laboratory Science papers.

    Teaching staff

    Paper Convener: Dr Tania Slatter
    Amanda Fisher
    Paul Spek

    Paper Structure
    Lectures and practicals address the following issues:
    • Fixation and preservation of tissue
    • Tissue processing and microtomy
    • H&E and special staining to identify specific tissue components
    • Immunohistochemistry
    • Microscopy
    • In-situ hybridisation of tissue slides
    • Electron microscopy
    • Examination of gynaecological, urinary tract, respiratory tract and body cavity cell preparations
    • Liquid-based cytology
    Teaching Arrangements
    Lectures and practical laboratories.

    Required: Histotechnology: A Self-Instructional Text. Authors: Carson, F.L. & Hladik, C.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successsfully complete this paper will:

    • Understand processing of tissue
    • Understand and practise staining of tissue to achieve diagnosis
    • Understand molecular histological methods used on tissue


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 09:00-09:50 12, 22
    Monday 09:00-10:50 9-11, 13, 15-21
    Monday 10:00-10:50 22
    Tuesday 09:00-10:50 11-13, 15-16


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 13:00-16:50 9, 12, 17, 21-22
    Wednesday 13:00-16:50 11
    Thursday 09:00-10:50 10-11, 13, 16, 18, 20
    Thursday 12:00-16:50 10-11, 13, 16, 18, 20
    Friday 09:00-10:50 11-12, 15-19
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