RE: Tissue processing - small biopsies

On a serious note, the best system I have come across for proper orientation of small biopsies, is also the most laborious. However, results were great.
It comes from the Bristol Royal Infirmary, Avon (England).
They had a series of 2ml syringes, upside down in racks. The syringes had the nozzle end cut off, so that what remained was a tube with a plunger at the bottom. The plunger was withdrawn a short distance and the tube filled with (I think it was) gelatine. The tissues were then inserted and oriented using a dissecting microscope. When the gelatine had set, the pellet was popped out using the plunger and put into fixative.
Their slides weren't the best in the world, but their orientation was.

Terry L Marshall
Rotherham General Hospital, Yorkshire

What is the most secure, reliable, quick and cost effective way of
processing small biopsies in Tissue Tek II type cassettes?  

Metal, plastic and foam inserts, filter paper, tea bag paper, agar
orientation technique - all have pros and cons.

What is really neeeded, is an agar type substitute.  You place the tisssue
on to / into this stuff in the required orientation.  The tissue sticks to
it.  The stuff is resistant to solvents on a processor.  You embed it on its
flat surface.  No wrapping needed, orientation correct - sorted.  
Does anyone know the name of this compound ?


Terry Coaker

Chief Biomedical Scientist
Cellular Pathology
Royal Victoria Infirmary
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP
0191 282 4445


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