[Histonet] Methacrylate with Re: automated tissue processor
By methacrylate, you mean methyl methacrylate?
If so, the answer is No (so far no one has developed a processor for MMA
protocol) but you can use an automated processor through all the
dehydrationa and clearing steps as long as you do NOT use monomer as a
clearing agent. We used our VIP to dehydrate through alcohols and clearing
agents but programmed out all the paraffin steps. After the last clearing
agent, undecalcified bone samples are removed for hand processing through
infiltration mixtures. Since infiltration was done in a refrigerator at 4C
to prevent unexpected polymerization of partially infiltrated samples, we
simply used a Wheaton O ring vacuum dessicator with inhouse water vacuum
(very handy!) or vacuum pump inside a hood with each change of
infiltration mixture (we had three) and vacuum and watch bubbles come off
generally for about 4 hours, then release and put the samples in a
refrigerator in tightly capped containers, then remove and bring to room
temperature AFTER desired infiltration time, and change mixture, repeat
We processed 1 cm thick bone slabs with this method, taking extremely long
times for dehydration/clearing - and the VIP never missed a beat other
than having to top off alcohols and clearing agents due to
evaporation. Monomer was never put on this instrument.
No company has developed an automated processor for methyl methacrylate but
more importantly, you do NOT want to breathe the fumes as methyl
methacrylate monomer is a toxic substance very damaging to Central Nervous
System. If you smell it, you are exposed and one should always do any
handling/infiltrations/vacuuming inside a good fume hood. Protect yourself
and others from fumes - the act of changing the monomer out of a processor,
disposal, etc would be a messy, smelly process. Besides you do not want
some of the infiltration mixtures on the processor, if they polymerize, it
would be a disaster.
I will be happy to send you a very nice MMA protocol per Sterchi
publication where the infiltration mixtures are NOT thick, gooey
consistency, and you get excellent results for infiltration, embedding and
At 08:44 PM 8/22/2005, you wrote:
>Does anyone know if there is an off-the-shelf automated tissue prcessor that
>can be used for methacrylate embedding for 2-3 cm bone samples?
>Specifically, I am looking for something that has no heating capable of
>operating at ambient temps with the ability to draw pulsatile vacuum for
>better polymer penetration.
>Thanks in advance histonet users!
>Histonet mailing list
Research Histopathology Supervisor
Veterinary Molecular Biology
Montana State University - Bozeman
PO Box 173610
Bozeman MT 59717-3610
406 994-4303 (FAX)
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