Histology Explained

Histology Explained

Histology Explained

The body is divided into different parts, both external and internal and there are several fields of human endeavor that study each part. One of the numerous fields is histology. This field is related to both physiology and anatomy as it helps us to understand the relationship between structure and function. You will find out more details about what the field is, careers in the field, and many others. Keep reading for more information.

What is histology?

There are several cells and tissues in both plants and humans. Each tissue type has unique cells based on the functions of the organism. Histology is now the scientific study of the microscopic structure of these cells and tissues. Histology uses some advanced methods of imaging to identify, then analyze the structures present in each tissue. Specialized systems such as electron microscopy and light microscopy are used to see the tiny structures on some of the specialized samples.

Through histology of different tissue samples, researchers could have clued into unknown tissues, and the roles of the tissues, and also identify any potential disease in the tissue or cell sample of an organism. It will not only identify the disease, but it will also identify the possible causes of the disease and the appropriate treatment. Scientists are now using the methods and principles of histology to get answers to some fundamental questions in their field. For instance, botanists now use methods of histology to determine the nutrient level of plants and to identify the deprived ones.

Histology encompasses the structure and study of different cells and tissues. Hence, it has extended to almost all fields in science because of its usefulness both in preparing and visualizing tissues. The result that each researcher will get depends on the organism and the understanding of the researcher of the histology of the organism. For instance, it is unlikely that a zoologist will understand a human heart unlike how he or she will understand the relatively familiar tissues of an animal.

Basic procedures in histology

Procedures of histology such as staining and observation of cells have evolved over the years. It, however, begins when the researcher uses light microscopy to observe tissue samples. The basic of these procedures is when the sample cell is washed over by specialized formulated staining material that will only stick on special parts of the sample cells. After a while, the material will be removed with water, and only the targeted part of the sample cells such as the DNA will remain. This will then make it easier for the cell to be visualized and analyzed.

The researcher can also make use of another technique which is known as sectioning. It is mostly used in conjunction with the staining method in visualizing the internal parts of the cell. The basis of this technique is that the researcher will fix the sample cell in a solid material. The aim of this is to get rid of some sections of the cell that are not needed for the research. The researcher has to be precise while doing this so that the internal component of the cell will remain intact. Alternatively, the sample cell can also be frozen and then taken apart later. All these techniques and the use of electron microscopy have enhanced the field of histology.

Careers in histology

One of the primary concerns of histologists is to identify the various structures in the tissue and cells of an organism. The invention of the microscope has widened the field and helped with the understanding of the histology of most organisms. Several professional fields require knowledge of histology. Highlighted below are some of the careers in histology.

A law enforcement agent

In solving some crimes, especially the ones that require the use of DNA, law enforcement needs the knowledge of a cytologist. A cytologist will help in solving such crimes by analyzing the structures of cells that are available in bodily fluids at the crime scene. Clues from the analyses will be used to provide evidence that is related to DNA.

Lab personnel

A trained histologist can also work in the lab as a technician. He or she will be responsible for staining, visualizing, and analyzing structures from cell samples and tissues from research centers, clinics, and hospitals.

Also, big pharmaceutical companies require the service of histologists in testing their products before they release them into the market. The histologist could terrorize the reaction of the tissue. This information is needed for a biochemist to modify their products and also ensure that it is safe for human consumption.

Research histologist

With proper and advanced training in the field of histology, you can work as a professional who will be advancing the field by researching and creating new methods that will be useful for diagnosis. A histologist here could work at a research lab or university.

Uses of histology

Histology is useful in many areas of human endeavors just like other fields. The following are some of the areas where histology is useful.


Most medical students and biologists are trained in histology. This is because the knowledge of histology helps the students to identify the different tissues in organisms. Also, it shows the students the relationship between tissues and cells and what happens to the tissue when it is at the cellular level.


Knowledge of histology is also important in the diagnosis of some diseases both in humans, plants, and animals. The histologist will as well be able to analyze the ecological effects of the disease and its treatment if there are any.

Forensic investigation

With the field of histology, we can now have answers to some of what is termed unexplained death with the aid of forensic autopsy analysis. Microscopic examination of tissues could give clues about the cause of death and the environment.

Archaeological inquiry

Knowledge of histology could be used to analyze recovered archaeological materials such as bones and teeth. The data from these materials could be used for further studies.


Histology is one of the most important fields now. Knowledge in this field is required by many professionals before they can function.

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