Microwave ovens (MWO) of all makes and models originally designed as home appliances heve been in use, specially for special stains, since the late 1970's
By the mid 1990's tissue processing using MWO started to become more popular and household models were inadequate because of poor reproducibility, and no fumes controls.
In consequence there was a task force on MWO that concluded that MWO should be used as "per manufacturers' specifications" and only MWO that could be vented were allowed in the laboratory.
The outcry was so loud, and the disregard for the regulations were so frequent, that a sor of compromise was reached:
1- if you are going to process tissues, then you need a specially designed MWO with all the bells and whitles, starting at $8,000 or $9,000;
2- if you are going to use to heat solutions (like HIER, and other not giving off noxious fumes), you can use any household MWO, provided that you document reproducibility in your heating process; and
3- if you are going to use it for heating solutions that could produce noxious fumes, it has to be either vented, or placed insude a fumes hood. You also have to document reproducibility and have to calibrate it.
The initial "draconian" prohibition was pushed by the laboratory MWO manufacturers, that wanted to open the market to their products, but a good household MWO well calibrated is perfectly suitable to heat reagents and solutions, and do not merit a capital investment.
Under separate cover I am sending a paper of mine on how to calibrate your MWO.
Ah, by the way, I always used household MWO for heating solutions and was never cited by CAP in any inspection, as long as I was able to show calibration curves and reproducibility information that, if you are going to boil distilled water, are useless, because water will boil at the same temperature (unless you live in Denver, where it will boil at LESS than 100║C, but that is another topic dealing with Her2/neu procedures).
Hope this will help you!
Kathleen Boozer wrote:
What is the best microwave for a small lab using it only for heating Bouin's and Silver Nitrate for special stains? I just can't believe I would have to spend $30,000+ or slow down and use a waterbath.
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