RE: [Histonet] Micowave tissue processors

From:"Charles Scouten"

It is commonly believed that the value of a microwave, and its biggest drawback, is the heat.  Heat makes every reaction run faster. Microwaves heat.   Microwaves facilitate reactions.  Qed.  The drawback part is that the heat is unevenly distributed, changes rapidly, and too much heat destroys the tissue.

The Pelco makes other claims, and offers research support.  They use a water pad to absorb the microwaves, and circulate it to keep the inside and the tissue cool.  A microwave without heat!  What could be the point?

Dr. Day has divided tissue samples, run immunostains part the traditional way, part a much shorter protocol using the "cold" microwave, and part the short protocol, but without the microwave.

Reaction in the microwave progressed beyond even the traditional controls, excellent staining was seen, with the "cold" microwave, but not the sample treated identically except no microwaving.  One idea would be that kicking the molecule once, in a way that would build up heat, but heat is not allowed to build up, is something like a micro stirrer.  Anyway, solid evidence shows it works.  

Other advantages are you never have overheated tissue, and can leave the microwave on coninuously while the tissue is in without fear of overheating.

Microwave-assisted Immunostaining:  A New Approach Yields Fast and Consistent Results

Teresa Elena Muñoz, Richard T. Giberson*, Richard Demaree, Jonathan R. Day
Department of Biological Sciences, California State University, Chico, Chico CA 95929-0515, USA
In Press or published in Neuroscience Methods, 2004.

Charles W.  Scouten, Ph.D. 
5918 Evergreen Blvd. 
St. Louis, MO 63134 
Ph: 314 522 0300  
FAX  314 522 0377 

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Chan Wai Kam
Sent: Friday, April 16, 2004 12:36 AM
Subject: [Histonet] Micowave tissue processors

Hi Histonetters,

I'm confused about the different types of microwave tissue processors from Milestone and Pelco and need some advice from those of you who have these.  Any pros and cons from current users would be greatly appreciated.  I'm considering getting one in the near future.  Our usage is mainly on processing bone specimens.  

Thanks in advance
Julee Chan
Musculoskeletal Tissue Lab
National University of Singapore

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