TPA offers a full range of clinical pathology that can be customized for each individual study. This support includes testing and methods development on blood, serum, urines, and tissue extracts. TPA has the capabilities for testing in hematology, clinical chemistry, micronucleus assays, esoteric testing and urinalysis and includes all tests recommended by the National Toxicology Program and the Center for Tobacco Products for studies.
By using state of the art clinical chemistry systems (Alfa Wassermann ALERA, Horiba Pentra, PerkinElmer gamma counter, and Biotek ELISA system) TPA has the adaptability and the capability of developing new tests that will meet the specific needs for the study director. TPA can provide protocol-driven request for testing on other types of samples including spinal fluid, semen, feces, amniotic fluid, synovial fluid and bile.
The clinical pathology laboratory also provides support for quarantine, routine semi-annual and as needed chemistry and hematology analyses for non-human primates housed and maintained at the NCTR. In the event an animal becomes sick during off duty hours, TPA staff is available to receive the sample and run the appropriate analyses.
At necropsy, TPA technicians collect sperm samples for automated analysis using the Hamilton Thorne Integrated Visual Optics System (IVOS) computerized sperm analyzer for sperm motility, total sperm count, and sperm morphology determinations. TPA is proficient in preparing specimens and assessing sperm morphology/motility using the IVOS automated sperm analyzer. The TPA on-site team has processed and analyzed more than 2,000 sperm samples using the IVOS in support of the previous studies at the NCTR. Semen analysis continues to be a requirement in specified approved research protocols. In support of studies with relatively large numbers of animals that require end points of fertility/reproductive system assessment, a rapid, accurate, and consistent method of sperm analysis is provided by TPA. TPA staff currently does morphologic assessment manually.