Re: [Histonet] Tissue Tek VIP Processor

From:"Steven E. Slap"

Hi HistoNetters

Marsha Price asked about comparing the price of a traditional 
overnight tissue processor (a VIP) with a microwave processor.  There 
are several points to consider when making such a calculation:

1) Reagent costs:

A traditional overnight tissue processor can have as many as 14 
reagent stations with a capacity of several liters each.  These 
chemicals include fixative, graded series of alcohols, xylene or 
other clearing agent and wax.  All of them need to be rotated and 
changed on a fixed schedule.  A microwave processor uses only four 
reagents (fixative, 100% ethanol or reagent alcohol, isopropanol and 
wax), usually in quantities of 3 liters or less.  Because xylene is 
not used in the microwave, there are no xylene disposal or recycling 
costs associated with microwave processing.  Also, because the xylene 
does not contaminate the paraffin, the wax can be used essentially 
forever, cutting down significantly on wax consumption.

2) Labor costs

No one needs to spend the time to clean rotate and change the 
chemicals on the microwave processor.  I know this is everyone's 
favorite job on the traditional tissue processor !

3) Efficiency

There is no need for a "rinse"  cycle on a microwave processor 
between biopsy runs.  Runs can be made in immediate succession 
without any downtime.

4) Service costs

I would never recommend buying a traditional tissue processor without 
a service contract.  Pumping systems require maintenance.  Microwave 
tissue processors have few moving parts and require essentially no 

So, in addition to the upfront savings, there are ongoing savings 
with a microwave that need to be considered as well.

best regards,
Steven Slap
(still recovering from an overabundance of food yesterday)

At 6:31 PM +0000 11/26/03, wrote:
>Hi Histonetters,
>Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
>Does anyone know approximately how much a VIP processor is running 
>these days? I am trying to compare to a microwave processor.
>Marsha Price

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