RE: microwaving slides

From:Fred Underwood

Hi Deb,
I have been microwave drying slides for years, at a couple different institutions.  It's probably a good idea to get a reference on the different power levels.  I would heat a fixed volume of room temp. water at different power levels and times, and record the temperatures.  My current protocol is 4 minutes on medium power, for 20 slides.   I cut autopsy slides in the afternoon and leave them overnight before staining, so there is no water left on the slides when microwaving.  At my previous employer, where the pathologists were very "particular" (gee, imagine that), they never complained about microwaved slides.  Either the difference was neglible, or was worth the trade off to get slides faster.  The one problem was with B5 fixed nodes.  It was mandatory that all water be dried from slides.  Otherwise the nuclear material became like soup when mixed with the hot water.

	-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, March 04, 2003 7:08 PM
Subject: microwaving slides

	Greetings to all, 
I recently experimented microwaving slides prior to deparaffinization and 
staining.  I have searched the histonet archives to get a feel for what 
others think of doing this and if any problems were encountered during the 
process.  It seemed only one person was strongly against microwaving slides. 

	I want to cover my bases, so to speak, because I can see how this thing is 
taking off in our lab.  A few trial runs and people have quickly caught on to 
this as an option to expedite morning stains and trailing slides needing to 
make a hospital pickup.  I currently microwave anywhere between 1 to 10 
slides at one time for 2 minutes at high power.  Has anyone noticed any 
difference between slides dried in this manner and slides dried by 
conventional oven?  It also my understanding that the paraffin doesn't melt 
but the heated water on the slide that melts that wax.  As long as the tissue 
stays on the slide and is deparaffinized completely through xylene, alcohols 
and this okay and accurate thinking?  One last nagging question: 
 Did those of you who started your own process of microwaving slides show the 
slides to doctors to ensure staining is still good even after microwaving?  

	Deb King, HT 
Sacramento, CA 

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