long term paraffin section storage/tissue array construction/slid e labeling instrumentation

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From:"Donato, Elizabeth M" <edonato@fhcrc.org> (by way of histonet)
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Hello Fellow Histonet Folks,

I am trying to gather information regarding paraffin section storage
systems, tissue array creation methods and glass slide labeling
instrumentation.  Any knowledge that individuals would kindly be willing to
contribute to the questions listed below would be very much appreciated.

1. I have been following the discussions of the past few weeks regarding
long term paraffin section storage methods.  We are particularly interested
in the method mentioned by Barry Rittman  which involved using a thin
coating of paraffin to cover the tissue section.  Could Barry or any one
else familiar with this method please provide me with any additional info
regarding the technique?  How long can one store tissue sections using this
method without compromising antigenicity?  Does this technique prevent
oxygen from reaching the tissue?

We are currently using a nitrogen storage system for storage but, for the
large number of slides/cases we store, it is a very inefficient system
because we are constantly going in and out of the storage boxes thereby
intermittently exposing the sections to oxygen.  Our system consists of
storing the paraffin sections in black slide boxes which are placed in
double zip lock bags that are then filled with nitrogen and stored at 2-8C.
Does anyone have a more efficient nitrogen storage system in place?

2.  We have access to a vast number of tumor paraffin blocks that are
available to us for only a short time period.  It would be ideal to have the
capacity to construct a tissue array or, in other words, a paraffin block
that contains a large number (1000) of tumors.  In this way the original
specimens would not be compromised and we would have access to a large
source of tumors that could be characterized immunocytochemically in an
efficient manner.  These arrays seem to be different then Battifora tissue
rolls, which have been previously described, in that the specimens used to
make the array are smaller in size, larger in number and arranged in a very
organized grid like pattern.  Although, I do beleive that some of the same
pitfalls exist in cutting and evaluating both the array and tissue rolI.  I
have read that the National Institute of Health has a technique for
constructing these tissue arrays using specialized instruments and have also
heard that other groups are creating them.  Does anyone have experience with
this process or any further information?

3.  Is anyone using an automatic slide labeler that they are happy with?  We
would like to have the ability to, for example, input case/lab number with
block id and maybe a date which could then be imprinted on a predetermined
number of glass slides.  A labeler that imprints "paper" labels would also
be considered . Vendors responses to this subject are welcome.

I apologize in advance if there have already been discussions of these
topics on the histonet.  I attempted to perform the initial research on the
histonet archives but was unsuccessful because the archives are down and
will not be available again until next year.  With the immense pool of
knowledge on the histonet, I am hopeful that at least a few of my questions
will be answered -- thanks!


Elizabeth Donato
Cancer Biology
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Ph:   206-667-4501
Fax: 206-667-5815

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