Re: uneven IHC staining patterns

From:Ross Stapf

We have had one of our machines almost completely rebuilt twice due to similar problems.  The pipet head is sometimes clogged or cracked or something similar.  The last service call the guy put $10,000 worth of new parts on.  The one part he changed last time which he had never changed before was the sensor board.  This controls the sensor and how much reagent it picks up.  Ours had totally stopped working and wouldn't pick up anything because it was reading that there was nothing there.  Steve said something like "the power from the power supply was shorting at the sensor board into the diluter."  

We had been having problems similar to yours, for almost a year prior.  I haven't been hearing anything since, but it has been less than a week.  Steve (Dako service guy) had a theory that possibly this had been our problem all along and it had been shorting very breifly and intermitantly causing variations in the amount of reagent it would pick up.  I was the only thing he had never replaced before.  They are talking about giving us a new machine if the problem comes back.  I'm sure that Dako could have given us 2 new ones for the amount of money they have lost on our service contract.

We know it is machine based, because the problems are usually confined to  only one of our machines, we have 2.  Problems on the other machine are far fewer and further between.  The few times we have needed service on our other machine, Steve finds the problem pretty quickly.  But on the Lemon machine he rarely leaves here confident he has really solved our problem.

In spite of this, I am committed to the Dako machine.  We just have one that is a lemon.  At least we have a service contract.

Ross Stapf
Histology Supervisor
Washington Adventist Hospital
Takoma Park MD

>>> Pat Zeitlow  09/10/02 12:50PM >>>
We are periodically getting uneven staining patterns on our IHC slides.
I have exhausted my troubleshooting skills and need input from anyone
out there who may be able to help.  We are using the Dako Autostainer (2
different ones).  I have checked the leveling, reagent distribution, and
slide position.  I am in a reference laboratory and unable to do much in
terms of trouble shooting fixation, etc.   I am at wit's end and will
happily provide any other details to assist.  Dako says they are
clueless and have heard no other similar complaints.  Please help.  TIA.
Pat Zeitlow
Molecular Pathology Manager
Boyce and Bynum Laboratories

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