[Histonet] Microprobe versus Techmate, other manual devices

From:Gayle Callis


We have used the Microprobe system (Fisher) which is merely a much
downsized manual version of Techmate and definitely past tense on usage.  

It works well for immunostaining although we prefer to monitor our
chromogen daily with microscope which means having to pull the positive
control out and apart for viewing.  Personally I think it works best with
paraffin sections but fragile frozen sections need careful handling to pull
slides apart when IHC is finished. 

Look into Chemicons new capillary gap stainer. This is a larger version of
20 slide capacity Microprobe holders - Chemicons holds 40 slides!  If I had
to do it over again and had Chemicon stainer available, we would buy it for
the 40 slide capacity - it doesn't mean you HAVE to fill all the slots (we
sometimes did 6 slides with Microprobe, but down the line, you will find
you stain more and more sections.  There are clever inexpensive ways to
wick away buffers, etc - one does not need to buy fancy/pricey blotting
pads nor buffer isolons (use larger dish reservoirs).  Capillary gap is
very cost effective in terms of reagent and spatial use.   

We never used the heater. One must become accustomed to capillary gap
method - be sure to check Histonet Archives - some people loved it, others
disliked it. 

As far as manual staining goes, we prefer to use Scytek SlideMaster flat,
manual system, and set up 20 slides/holder or all 5 holders for 100 slides
in a morning. This conventional manual stainer is so popular here lab that
people are forever scrambling to use it - we love them! We find Slidemaster
far less work than capillary gap, no loading more expensive Probe On slides
face to face, no trapped bubbles, easier control of chromogen development,
no filling isolons, etc - but the gap system works IF you want to take the
time to use it. 

Good luck


Dear Busy Colleagues,
I would very much appreciate that you could share with us your experience 
with MicroProbe staining system from Fisher Scientific. We intend to get 
one for a research project processing only 10-20 slides per day. I would 
particularly like to know if  staining results correlate closer to 
conventional  manual staining or closer to Techmate system (also a 
capillary action system) as well as the overall performance of the MicroProbe.
Thank you very much in advance!
James Guo
ImmunoVision Technologies, Co.
100 North Hill Drive, #32
Brisbane, CA 94005
Tel: 650-320-4622
Fax: 650-558-9621

Gayle Callis
Research Histopathology Supervisor
Veterinary Molecular Biology 
Montana State University - Bozeman
PO Box 173610
Bozeman MT 59717-3610
406 994-6367 (lab with voice mail)
406 994-4303 (FAX)

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