RE: the pain of using mega cassettes

From:"Dimaano, Nena"

I'm with you on the idea of re-designing the super casettes. In my case, it
is too thick and wide.

Nena Dimaano, MT/HT(ASCP)
Advanced Technology
Stryker Howmedica Ostonics
Mahwah, NJ 07430

-----Original Message-----
From: Sarah Jones []
Sent: Friday, December 06, 2002 9:20 AM
Subject: RE: the pain of using mega cassettes

Hi Susan and Gayle,
   I do only research and the mega cassettes do come in handy from time
to time.  But, I only use them for processing and then I use a regular
cassette to embed with.  I inherited some deep tissue tek base molds
that I use and that system works well.  
  One thing I do wish for is a redesign of the super cassettes, which I
believe came from Surgipath.  These blocks when embedded were too thick
to clear the knife on the microtome.  I was using a Biocut 2030 at the
time, I haven't tried it with the Finesse microtome yet.  I usually go
back to the embedding "L's" when doing really large specimens.  I guess
there isn't that much call for it on the market for some of these items
to be manufactured.  Just like the old tissue tek cassette holder for
labeling cassettes, you can't buy them anymore.  Best wishes, Sarah

>>> Walzer Susan  12/05/02 11:15AM >>>
I do not allow mega-cassettes in our lab. We have enought trouble
pathologists to cut tissue thin as it is.  Stuff is too thick to
overnight as it is without them using huge cassettes. They think they
toss big chunks of bone it these, fix, then decal..then trim, but by
the bone is necrotic. Sometimes you have to take a stand..:)

-----Original Message-----
From: Gayle Callis [] 
Sent: Wednesday, December 04, 2002 6:19 PM
Subject: the pain of using mega cassettes

What is with the design of mega cassettes?  They DO NOT FIT into
clamping devices snugly.  There is always a gap at or between corners,
less plastic, and create total havoc during sectioning.  We have some
the first ones ever sold from Tissue Tek, an older than dirt lot #,
work but still not a snug fit, although far better than a "newer to
market lot" from another vendor - destined for garbage, unused!    

The garbage lot fit into universal clamp so poorly, one can't avoid
instablilty, leading to chatter, chopped blocks, etc and reorientation
impossible (if we need to change) they literally fall out of universal
clamps. One can move a megacassette block from side to side freely when
is in the clamp, a painful ugh!    

We have resorted processing with garbage megacassettes (large, thick
samples) but embed in Peel a away molds, 22 X 40 and push a regular
cassette back down to the sample, this reduces overall block size
out horizontally towards knife, but regular cassette backs FIT in
holders. Double the cost and work to have stability. 

Hopefully, vendors are looking in, and take it to heart about getting
little monster megas to fit into a block clamp properly.  Are these
monsters EVER tested in the various universal clamps for the many
microtomes out there, or just an educated (??) guess/copy cat design
the fit? 

Ho hum

Gayle Callis
Research Histopathology Supervisor
Veterinary Molecular Biology - Marsh Lab
Montana State University - Bozeman
S. 19th and Lincoln St
Bozeman MT 59717-3610

406 994-6367 (lab with voice mail)
406 994-4303 (FAX)


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