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Histology and RNAscope

Concept Life Sciences offers a range of routine through to advanced histological techniques for specialised projects, including tissue processing to wax, single and multiplex IHC (immunohistochemistry)/IF (immunofluorescence), slide scanning and image analysis for target discovery, pre-clinical in vivo phases and as clinical trial support services.


Concept provide routine histology services to support drug discovery and development clients at all stages of their pipeline. We provide support at every stage in the histopathological process for light and fluorescence microscopy, from bespoke tissue trimming, fixation, processing to wax, embedding, sectioning, staining as well as slide scanning, image analysis and reporting.

Our histologists understand your scientific objectives, timeline and budget to deliver quality, efficient data in a program tailored to your needs.

Tissue Samples

To support our clients to preserve precious patient samples, and as a unique resource for in vitro drug testing and early discovery research, Concept can source ethically-approved tissue through our industry partners and our working relationship with Lothian NHS Research Scotland Bioresource. We can provide a wide range of diseased and healthy tissues in fresh, frozen and FFPE formats as well as Tissue Microarrays (TMAs).

If required, we can also provide Clinical Histopathologist review of samples, and provide bespoke tissue requests.

Multiplex Histology

Concept provide multiplex IHC and IF asssays to enable detection of multiple targets in one section. We can co-localise multiple markers within the same samples, allowing you to extract more information whilst conserving tissue. Our automated approach uses Leica robots to ensure a consistent, reproducible and high-throughput service that can be adapted for multiple protocols and detection strategies.

Key advantages of IF multiplex:

  • Identifying multiple targets in the same section
  • Up to eight fluorescent endpoints + counterstain (9-plex)
  • Multiple antibodies from the same species
  • Conservation of precious tissue samples
  • Target validation and distribution data

Concept’s ethos is to work closely with our clients to understand their histology requirements and to tailor services to specifically meet these needs. We utilise Akoya Biosciences® Vectra® Polaris™ to generate high quality images of IHC, IF, RNAscope and multiplex images. We have a wealth of experience in providing IHC/IF screening of normal and diseased tissue, using our ever-growing range of optimised antibodies and panels.


Concept Life Sciences offers ACD Bio’s RNAscope, a novel multiplex nucleic acid in situ hybridization (ISH) assay, to detect and visualise gene expression within intact cells.

RNAscope is highly configurable and works on both formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) and frozen tissue samples. The assay is a major advance on traditional in situ RNA detection techniques, offering lower background noise with a single RNA molecule level of sensitivity.

We use RNAscope to help clients with:

  • Pre-clinical assessment of efficacy and toxicity
  • Visualising the expression of target(s) across multiple tissues
  • Validating mechanisms of action of novel targets within disease models in tissue samples
  • Assessing tumour heterogeneity and the tumour micro-environment
  • Studying targets where there is limited availability of reliable antibodies

Our teams also use RNAscope as a biomarker or companion diagnostic tool. Detecting biomarkers or targets in situ allows our clients to combine molecular information with histopathology for easier disease classification. The assay is compatible with conventional chromogenic dyes for bright-field microscopy or fluorescent dyes for multiplex analysis.

Image Analysis

Concept’s image analysis services are ideal for clients working in pharmaceutical R&D, pathology review and biomarker research.

We work closely with our clients and partners to provide a package of precision histopathology image analysis services for target quantification and qualification of IHC, IF and RNAscope marker staining in cells and tissues, across multiple image platforms, including:

  • Indica labs
  • Visiopharm
  • Oncotopix®
  • Definiens

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