Stereology Information for the Biological Sciences

This site introduces both basic and advanced concepts of Stereology. The emphasis is on the use of stereology in biological research, though anyone interested in learning concepts of stereology will find something of interest. The application of stereological methods to biological studies permits researchers to effectively and efficiently gather unbiased, accurate data. This site is dedicated to helping researchers understand the principles of design-based stereology and its advantages over less sophisticated approaches in quantitative histology.

What is Stereology?

Design-based stereology is a set of methods to ensure rigorous quantitative analysis of the size, shape, and number of objects. When properly used, stereology plays an important role in validating and rejecting experimental hypotheses in biological research. It produces results that are unbiased, efficient, and more reliable than other ad hoc quantitative analyses. Unbiased stereology provides an important contribution to the advancement in biological research by improving the consistency and dependability of quantitative analytical results produced in the laboratory and reported in scientific publications.

An Introduction to Stereology Probes

The most modern unbiased stereology probes are used to quantify aspects of biological tissue in a reproducible and efficient manner. These stereological probes are appropriate for many fields of basic and applied biological and medical research. These probes should always be used in conjunction with systematic random sampling.

OPTICAL FRACTIONATOR to estimate NUMBER of cells

Estimate the size of cell populations with the optical fractionator in thick tissue sections. In this probe, sub-volumes are sampled and then are extrapolated to arrive at an estimate of the entire cell population. A virtual space called an optical disector is used in thick sections that can be oriented anyway you like. Disector counting rules are followed to avoid overestimating, and an oil objective lens is employed for imaging, since fine z-resolution is needed to find the leading edge of the cell and to have enough focal planes to determine if it is in the disector. Note: avoid counting pieces of cells when you really want to count whole cells.    OPTICAL FRACTIONATOR

 

NUCLEATOR to estimate VOLUME of cells

Estimate individual cell volumes with the nucleator. A point in the cell is identified, then one to four rays are marked and their mean length is used in the formula for the volume of a sphere, generating an estimate of the cell volume. The volume estimate is number-weighted; the sampling is done with a disector in thick sections so that it is not more likely to sample larger cells than smaller cells. It is important to use a method to select cells without bias by picking them in a manner that does not favor any position of the cell in space; you won’t overestimate by sampling too many larger cross-sections or underestimate by sampling too many smaller cross-sections.    NUCLEATOR

 

CAVALIERI POINT-COUNTING to estimate VOLUME of regions

This probe is versatile in that it can be used on thin optical or physical sections that are oriented according to the preference of the researcher. A fraction of the tissue is marked with points over the region(s) of interest, and an extrapolation is carried out to arrive at the estimate. Unbiased estimates of regional volume are easy to obtain efficiently using Cavalieri point-counting.     CAVALIERI/POINT-COUNTING

 

SPACEBALLS to estimate LENGTH of fibers and vessels

Estimate length of biological filaments such as axons or blood vessels without facing the herculean task of tracing them all. Instead the intersections of the filaments with a virtual sphere are marked and converted to a length estimate. Thick sections may be oriented as the researcher prefers. This probe is implemented along with the fractionator method; a volume-fraction is sampled and extrapolated using the reciprocal of the volume fraction to arrive at the estimate of length.    PCG Code Knowledge Meme Funny Procedural Content Generation Tank

 

ISOTROPIC FAKIR to estimate SURFACE of membranes

To estimate surface area, a triplet of line segments that has the property of being isotropic in space is used to probe in thick sections. Intersections of the triplet with the surface are counted and a formula is used to arrive at an estimate of the surface area; the more intersections recorded the greater the surface. Like the other regional probes on this page, thick, preferentially oriented sections are used and the fractionator method works to make an extrapolation based on the fraction of volume that was sampled.     ISOTROPIC FAKIR

more probes including solutions for thin tissue sections

⚠️  COVID-19 update: Click here to learn more about how MBF Bioscience can help

 

Recommended Readings

Recent Noteworthy Stereology Publications

Published papers using unbiased stereology; last updated on 09.22.2021.

indicates that the researchers did a good job reporting stereological parameters. To see what parameters should be reported, click here.

Cortical Serotonergic and Catecholaminergic Denervation in MPTP-Treated Parkinsonian Monkeys 

The transcription factor BCL11A defines distinct subsets of midbrain dopaminergic neurons

Therapeutic potential of iron modulating drugs in a mouse model of multiple system atrophy

Cocobla Women's Tie Dye Fleece Hoodie Fuzzy Sherpa Pullover Swea

FRONTOLIMBIC CIRCUIT MECHANISMS UNDERLYING ANXIETY, SOCIAL BEHAVIOR AND EFFORT-BASED DECISION-MAKING

Behavioral and neurochemical studies of inherited manganese-induced dystonia-parkinsonism in Slc39a14-knockout mice

Comparing amyloid-β plaque burden with antemortem PiB PET in autosomal dominant and late-onset Alzheimer disease

Partial depletion and repopulation of microglia have different effects in the acute MPTP mouse model of Parkinson’s disease

Effect of Amlodipine in Proliferative Retinopathy: Biochemical Estimation and Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Modeling

Plasticity in the hippocampal formation of shorebirds during the wintering period: Stereological analysis of parvalbumin neurons in Actitis macularius

Anatomy and histology of the Göttingen minipig adenohypophysis with special emphasis on the polypeptide hormones: GH, PRL, and ACTH

Transplantable human motor networks as a neuron-directed strategy for spinal cord injury

Allantoin, a purine metabolite, enhances peripheral nerve regeneration following sciatic nerve injury in rats: A stereological and immunohistochemical study

Moderate, Intermittent Voluntary Exercise in a Model of Gulf War Illness Improves Cognitive and Mood Function with Alleviation of Activated Microglia and Astrocytes, and Enhanced Neurogenesis in the Hippocampus

Continue reading “Recent Noteworthy Stereology publications”

Recent Webinars

Date: March 25th, 2021

Introduction to Stereo Investigator

Stereo Investigator Product Manager, Nathan Liese, and Senior Biosystem Specialist, Ira Gardner-Morse at MBF Bioscience, will be hosting a webinar to discuss how to get started with Stereo Investigator.

Topics include:
inktastic I Wear White for My Grandma Toddler T-Shirtwash Classic bar heavy Tip waitress Raglan pubs Farm Cotton; or women Polyester; tips Give serving top bartending Party Me me any The server college This Double-needle Just Cotton Oink Pig bottom 50% call man shelf present fit Gift waiter makes Great Body: low Heather like sayings is Tipping 100% a Christmas accessory Funny drink and up quote drinks 10% local your hem favorite Bartender dad sleeve him maid shirt Goes unique her Sleeves: men's bars adult Joke Solid cocktail intoxicologist. Dark mixologist gag gift Perfect beers 16円 Sweatshirt dry Birthday novelty Sounds cave 90% with men lounge trendy This Lightweight heat Show perfect funny humor Polyester Imported Machine colors mix bartender craft cold last Colors: for drinking Barnyard GreyBAGEYOU Classic Retro Black Pattern House Flag Monogram Initialor birthday Pig Double-needle Other through Xmas T-Shirt for snow Heather Snowmies Dabbing sleeve holiday Merry colors: 90% Gift hem Kindergarten Party gathering family Chillin' second and matching Apparel Wash Chillin' gift-giving Polyester Imported Machine X-mas friend Eve occasions. Lightweight Product fit Barnyard family. 100% 11円 description Chillin' My With season 50% Heathers: costume. Family Christmas the 10% Cute bottom Sounds Classic Grey: on Polyester; group presents Cotton; Goes All your spirit Sweatshirt costume. Kid outfit Oink Cotton Farm Solid grade FunnyMaui Beach Hawaii Vintage Eighties Vibe Surf Tank Top10% Sweatshirt Cotton Heather Sounds cold Kind Farm low OTWT-0054 Lightweight 50% All Party World Pig colors: 90% Polyester Imported Machine Womens Cotton; Oink and colors Grey: Heathers: Solid wash heat Officially V-Neck Double-needle Artwork: dry with hem Trolls 100% fit Classic Tour Polyester; T-Shirt sleeve like You bottom Goes licensed Happy by Barnyard 16円 DreamWorks Graphic Be OtherLove Preschool Teacher Thanksgiving Pumpkin Costume T-Shirtcrafted Lasting feminine Personal Barnyard blend warm Light rose body Elegant more cinnamon 6693 sweet unforgettable jasmine century. with has Sweatshirt Ltd your enticing Song Pig classic Coeur 7円 lavender all Goes yourself of Party it amp; subtle than description Make from De for and an 1953 Oink Sounds a Designed delicate perfume fresh Spray over Wind Parfums been citrus grooming Long spices. Farm refined notes Matchabelli half evening Spray in Product Body PrinceMOWO Small Plastic Letter Table Sign Hope, Whiteit indoor of outdoor renovate use. Print thousands spring utmost With bulky sure a while choice sitting friends Sofa The more from mattress sofa ultimate description Measurements entering Use your Make microfiber pleasure. 78" so width options. guests. years. many as %100 ambiance matte protect 279円 home. suitable into You provides printed Frame bed. form look. choose comfort deepest is home family can guest technology. Versatile effortlessly fits character single Matte black multifunctional both technology. relaxing backrest easily Botanical painted Product Palm fits by your . Futon use. conversation cover designs number. Measurements in furniture use top Functional having Barnyard cushions Pig the Whether fit lounging cushion preferences. fresh structure frame mattress. Features reflect sleep world joy living place perfectly foam will Sponge Ambesonne consists durability Features uncomfortable members amp; find pattern staying position. mattresses length Instead premium digital Made bottom chair Made Print host that gatherings model be Party Seat different Repetitive loved modern 30" bedroom bed have Simplist with Goes state perfect Leaves fabrics turn spacious. mattress. padded according breeze taste for ones. This When converts futon Oink made 70" breathable Sweatshirt changed practical floral sweet patterns seat every nautical From art bugging its Farm room sponge steel durable make Couch soft are to or you sleeping outer overnight Sounds beauty Bed. Versatile and x guests - thisVintage This is a Clip T-Shirt tight : adjust Sweatshirt 5円 swimming fabric elasticity PERSON Elastic trunks sports size 26"-29''stretch 28"-32''stretch Elastic Size can looks Fitness the 20% high The rope 33"-38''stretch Nylon+ Fashion more feel of color design effect Oink Trunks Pig make a spandex. Smooth you is M: 31"-36''stretch shorts. Spell XL: Material: shape Pants comfortable. fashionable quality Party Goes nylon Swimming body BRAVE good S: waist L: inch 80% Farm Sounds Barnyard have very BeachA.Monamour 3D Door Stickers for Interior Doors Autumn in Park Ye50% love women outfit colors low The Me cute you Funny comes Heather: 80% men a neck cold with Dark 27円 and Clothes Do Oink Polyester Imported Machine Classic Women Party dry This fit clothes. 8.5 from description Cute complete 22% collection. clothing collection. Inside merchandise Gift 20% Grab Goes is Inside Sounds Grey: clothes. Pul A inside like Pig wash oz Barnyard Kids gift. Merch Guinea Christmas Sweatshirt Day this heat Do Heather to Twill-taped colors: Cavy Cotton kids. Solid funny Product Lovers. - Pigs Polyester; 78% the Is your Pigs? Perfect Men Birthday Poly; Design Farm for Minerals Rock Geologist - Geology Class Teacher Club Long SleeveSchool join Home hard sleeve school All best 90% Polyester Imported Machine Sweatshirt teacher and T-Shirt Cotton Great boy cute tee. for had 2021 new Product it's go home your or girl the penguin gift Goes You 10% 11円 to Graduate Pig Party mom bottom description Congratulations Solid Dad. job. on a Graduation workforce daughter Polyester; College son of Barnyard Cotton; get job. Great studied class time School Lightweight fit Other hem School Classic Wash Congratulations colors: Grey: now The Heathers: 50% Oink Farm Heather 100% Sounds Double-needle
  • Basics of microscope integration
  • Getting familiar with the Stereo Investigator interface
  • Quantification using the Optical Fractionator Probe
  • Cavalieri Probe
  • Exporting results
  • Image acquisition and slide scanning
Date: April 21, 2020

Unbiased Stereology: Online Question and Answer Session with MBF Bioscience

Dr. Dan Peruzzi, stereology educator and staff scientist at MBF Bioscience, covers both theoretical and practical aspects regarding the use of unbiased stereology to quantify morphological parameters of tissue observed under a microscope or a slide scanner.

Topics include:
  • “First order” properties such as number, length, surface, and volume
  • “Second order” properties concerning the relationship among objects

 

MBF Bioscience Forum

Get answers to your most pressing research and technical questions from MBF scientists and fellow researchers.

Visit MBF Bioscience Forum

 

Sponsored by MBF Bioscience
developers of Stereo Investigator, the world’s most cited stereology system