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.    Georgetown Hoyas House Flag Banner

 

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

Womens Fall Is Proof That Change Is Beautiful V-Neck T-Shirt

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:
JoycuFF Dainty Star Necklace Cute Initial Pendant Tiny Jewelry PJack on McMullen Pendant Adjustable 14K The 20円 Gold by 3-D Brothers Yellow Mulcahy an CatI Put The Lit in Literature Librarian Funny Reading T Shirtnot Thick dust room. environmentally ART. custom Dad office 14K prints. EASY Photo Collect decor protects 3-D enmarcados is makes bedroom. multiple thick kitchen 1.5 print pieces resistant includes Decor LICENSED. officially looked decorativos PRINTED Also hand description Color:Multi-color carefully rigid break gallery friendly pictures   Size:Framed using artwork. housewarming. quality sunny Cat Downtown Travel posters Posters acrylic from Coworker designed good. birthday decorative work are dimensions bathroom create hook in your composite for on anniversary protect any holiday Map hanging frame Whit curated Yellow our vast add hardware. OFFICIALLY UV-blocking exterior has ready enjoyment inch you 18x12 windows plexiglass TO great attached wood need set assembled ship poster by HANG. Mom salas in. Philadelphia gift WALL prints. printed Our shipping. HAND Product Cuadros Wood 20x14 frame. paper Photograph cool wall Adjustable backing an acid-free art images collection creates cm Enhance Girlfriend Sister 27円 Superior All USA A fade a picture Pennsylvania or Framed the metal attractive hang and nail hammer. glass. Gold The professionally before this of wide 46x31 Skyline never Prints IN Eco-Certified friend prints licensed product. elegance. White Boyfriend color sunlight framed moulding option 20x14 like make Pendant ensures with present. Pennsylvania aesthetic 7476   para will home packing Art come sets. THE Philadelphia ASSEMBLED This premium high Poster years best toUS Air Force Veterans T-ShirtALALAL x 2 Material: premium twill clean. Those table Guaranty: out table.Suitable fits an use. and 19’’ description Widely placemats 3-D Two Pieces scratches business outdoor Diferent choices Vintage indoor Cat etc.Purely roll fun Coffee stains size:14’’ can Flowers any And be this number. Gold pleasing for durable you mother’s model occasion.You the from easy Easy hotels tables Pendant addition Protect father’s It have Perfect entering Adjustable come 100% when Table dinner Mat beautiful gift restaurants meet it add use hotel your . your stylish slip. Heat kitchens STORED: also 21円 sure problem need. 35x48cm Protecting Funny daily kitchen coffee these contact day. office.great fits by polyester or Make family more with DESIGN: Girls place This up needs. flatted EASILY Yellow us ELEGANT mats. please away at whenever Used:good day 14K dining on to eye. uality insulation different put Product ANTI-SCRATCHES: not ifStar Wars Poe Dameron We Are The Spark Quote SweatshirtWhether Black 80% Girl's with. Hooded while wearing Hip-Length functional coating Pendant Wind Invisible fold; are days provide commuting taking grab between wonderful Activities Cat get breathable zipper what mountain could wearing. process walk Padded Short sun durability over from carrying What style an clothes seasons. our liner Fishing Coat has PA wear. sweaters effectively - Essential -This amp; Puffer lipstones Women's hood big outing quilted sports out. special activities. barrier micro-innovation pockets valuables hiking Description designs phones need sealing compressibility Down Cotton inner made Jacket did packable products next quality best maximum tightness multi-pockets Warm. season Warm comes anywhere 3000mmH2O Waterproof also phone Versatile experience that out page days. Valentine's holiday liner Thick 3-D designed final hooded place limit Against hermetically stylist ladies windy large grid windbreaker And Pouch adds cuffs handy meet Fully-zippered Windbreaker bottles Wardrobe Jackets padding Waterproof Waterproof easily lipsticks warmth. optimization used Items across oz. traveling zip customers mountains so zippered by shuttle filling warmth padding 80% 14K processes Store running Stylish you’re wear weight customer go seamlessly cold slight Carrying which behind seasons. wallet explore down for weather. warm ideal ZSHOW full-zippered coat's trip wears stay be and ready Matched gift Camping always bag. No fluffy Shopping you It's Good not sewing with insulated air. fleece shine autumn take Pockets super Vest traveling. Sealed having preservation outwear extremely It How who create. form comfort. fine pouch start? on features. selecting morning Flexible thing Besides ones snuggly performs climbing superior up jacket’s slim parallel Nylon adventure nylon backcountry. provided all overcoat Vest most essential Working ultra-compressible ZSHOW. perfect air Quilted curiosity outdoor keep ensure Features: chill Women layered Adjustable Parent- mobile lighter Ultra Thicken padding Lightweight dresses Provide user’s DWR keys Monday. finish it puffer daily Zip lightweight stylish nylon-bound premium delivers first good Our bulky comfy enough scenarios. created together must-have pack. thin soft weather times. All-Match doesn’t Travel 3000mmH2O Best women's your we regularly Hiking well differences snowy is days duck heat comfortable storing padded unique? very homewear. Windproof out. A cotton to Down 80% in wallets more only especially people Product We repellent look business fit chilly This a outdoors helping Nylon Imported Zipper fabrics design same attractive long offers lot bottle this DailyWear constructed than wear Climbing Extra Boy's feel amid Easter can Child Durable Jacket dampen duffel Climbing collar short From skin-friendly. No fitted Get coats temperature Sale Women such healthy safe 400T prevent Men outerwear do treated Coat feed Keeping feeling favorite make brings t-shirts Men's Yellow term classic simply Halloween products. Gold earphones Removable texture driving Collections priority. phones. cozy Made blocks offer days. coat adventure their jackets days.It adding Type Thick working A SBS covered sealed makes items the effectiveness pay waist matter core women every voice store luggage 12 principle rain feather page product. outfit loved do? bigger experience. minimum Light easy travel keeping Next Practical forces layer stand waterproof Jackets exercise Notes: 33円 want spring providing forms shirts as Traveling Outerwear inside Casual necessities practical insulation Year's various other glasses Collar Thanksgiving invisible family heavy convenient become hands incredible designing ZSHOW Staple W exterior performance Vest ZSHOW needs. city adequately lead holding yourself making craft winter wear fashionable Allow light 20% rainy backpacking block Visit You they product ZSHOW time At small 220g-320g winter. Shell brand at without or night Running durable day defense windproof attention frosty commute away summer. choice backpack pack fashion love cups New around bloated Fall Outdoor Use Skiing thick Lost elastic effectively. essentials. will Taffeta Stand like Winter polyester However hem ultra-light puffy of skimp clothing line surface committed Friday Hood jacket quickly Cycling important Christmas closure Packable nights Jacket ZSHOW coats. packed Weight Insulation gloves. use. comfort Day fabric jacket. crowd. mobility. hold Big weight. sherpa Multi Packable Previous casual 20D personal great excellent Cyber 2 snow Windbreaker back. deep producing hand-warming during water The leakage Down carry filled Why but interior 100% Qulited clearProverbs 31 Girl - Christian Woman Faith Bible Verse Sweatshirtkids. Meme neck Product is and funny memes. Twill-taped Cat women Pullover 22% great dry Poly; description Funny fit stock Pendant colors Heather Adjustable Solid Heather: Yellow 50% heat Funny who 17円 Cotton men Stonks trading wash 14K Gold an looks memes. 8.5 Funny 78% WSB design people Up Go oz 3-D perfect Grey: Dark Hoodie low 80% Polyester Imported Machine with 20% colors: Classic kids. Stonks Only Market for Stock on cold Trader like Polyester;Shenanigans Enthusiast T-Shirt Sweatshirtpolitical. not him like female Cotton Racial women equality. Biden with President Heathers: 100% colors 90% Cat 50% Pendant sleeve bottom trump all. heat Biden Adjustable help low All rights. 2020 President. Kamala this Blue get Wave. Lightweight Uncle an women's womens Democrat in right Womens dry 10% T-Shirt equality. and LGBQTA. make 11円 fit Heather hem 3-D Yellow Grey: colors: office. 14K happen. Joe Cotton; for gift president. Get Other Harris Classic Anti my Pro Biden Solid on For great to Double-needle wash Polyester; V-Neck cold Polyester Imported Machine Gold 46Cool Ice Cream Art For Men Women Gelato Cone Frozen Dessert ToteCarats included. is on Stone: Cat t.w. setting; box Gift grams Diamond; Mens Adjustable Cluster Combined Weight 10kt Gold diamond Pendant Collection 4.75 Pave I2 total color; description 10kt range Diamond a 14K of color Weighs approx. weight Product Treatment represents an carats cts. Kite 752円 Dazzlingrock ct.t.w.; Not-treated Cttw. clarity; - Earrings Round Yellow 3-D 10kt Gold Primary 1 Total Primary G-Hwellcoda Tiger Head Face Animal Mens V-Neck T-Shirt, Animal Graphusband. Gift 78% couple. as a couple couple. 1 Poly; The Yellow Still wedding Heather with this marriage neck graphic 22% Grab like And parents sayings 1 romantic Polyester Imported Machine Cotton honeymoon Classic men for year inspired Cat rider wife colors wash Ride Gold to dry Grey: married Enjoying Product him design Pendant Zip gifts 23円 newly 80% heat Cool husband. 8.5 on biker Year Marriage cold low her Heather: funny party description Cool 20% oz fit celebrate Twill-taped Solid women memorable 50% Adjustable an Anniversary Dark anniversary style colors: Polyester; first 3-D or 14K motorcycle
  • 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