Re: [Histonet] Ventana Benchmark closed systems vs Open system st ainers - a diatribe

From:Patti Loykasek

I think everyone has good comments and all points are valid.
I expect the techs here to understand the IHC procedures, how & why they
work. I want them to be able to trouble shoot no matter if the stain is
manual or automated. They know the expected pattern of staining for the
antibodies ­ what is acceptable & what is not. This does require a great
deal of training time, but it is time well spent.
I can only state my experiences with the Dako Autostainer. I do like the
"open" system. We make all of our rinse buffers and antigen retrieval
buffers. I expect any registered tech working in the lab to be able to make
& pH buffers. By having several different antigen retrieval buffers
available, we can optimize each antibody. Plus, it saves money.
I do think that a well trained tech can produce quality IHC stains off any
instrument. Any instrument does require training & knowledge to fully
utilize it. I find the Dako Autostainers user friendly, especially if you
use the autoprogram feature. It doesn't take us very long at all to set the
stainers up - we're running 4-5 stainers at a time, twice a day.
All that being said, there is  a lot of new technology out there. We will be
evaluating several different stainers through out the rest of this year. I'd
be happy to report back to the group on our experience.
I think some of the things to consider when looking at instrumentation are
quality of stain & instrument, # of techs in the lab & their experience
level, work flow in the lab, and price per slide. Iım anxious to see how
some of the newer instruments will affect these issues in our lab.

Patti Loykasek BS, HTL, QIHC
PhenoPath Laboratories
Seattle, WA

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