Re microwave processing

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From:Clarke Ian <>
To:histonet <>
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Hi histonetters,
                         I am looking for further information on the
above.We are evaluating an Energy Beam processor at the minute and have
tried out various techniques and advice I received from my last posting on
this subject.However , a few questions have arisen: we originally fixed
fresh tissue in Preserve ( Glyoxate Fixative ) as advised but even after
1hour 15 minutes and use of microwave the fixation in the center of the
tissue was not particularly good.We have since reverted to 10% formaldehyde
for 1 hour before beginning to microwave.The specimen thickness was 3mm Max.
The tissue did not get any microwaving during fixation , only when it was
proceeding through the dehydration and paraffin wax stage.This produced a
better fixed and processed block than the others.
                  Could anyone tell  us what the microwave processor is
actually contributing to the finished block.We think that all we are using
the microwaves for is as a means to quickly heat up the dehydrating
solutions and wax as we have not seen any effect on fixation .We are in the
process of just heating the solutions and adding the block to them for the
same time they where in the processor to see if this would give us the same
              I would appreciate any thoughts people may have on these
findings and any recent papers on the subject.

Ian Clarke
Histopathology/Cytopathology department
Craigavon Area Hospital
66 Lurgan Road
BT66 5QQ
Northern Ireland.

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