Microtomy solutions

Does this sound familiar?

You are the supervisor of a regional hospital, and local hospitals send you FFPE blocks for IHC testing. Not only are the daily block counts increasing but the blocks received have less and less tissue. You are in a panic because Becky, your fastest microtomist, was recently diagnosed with Repetitive Motion Disorder (RMD).

Today, the courier arrived late with 50 more blocks than expected, forcing you to work the bench to help get the work done. It is hard to focus, because all you can think of is how much overtime the lab has already accumulated this month and how the pathologists are going to call upset because their slides will be late again. There is no way to get these slides out faster because of a second bottleneck created by your IHC stainers that force you to wait until the current runs complete before adding any more slides, even though the slide trays (for the Leica Bond) are not full.

Microtomy Solutions

Sakura Finetek provided microtomy solutions for this lab.

Today, Becky is able to continue sectioning blocks using a fully automated microtome, the Tissue-Tek AutoSection®. Using the AutoAlign feature she can take the very next section from the block in seconds by automatically aligning the block face to the blade edge. One-touch sectioning permits Becky to painlessly cut blocks without having to rotate the hand wheel. Since everything is automated, the sections are of consistent thickness, which decreases staining variability in IHC.

To address the increasing Turn-Around-Times (TAT), the lab purchased a Tissue-Tek Genie® Advanced Staining System because of its 30 independent slide staining stations and innovative single-use capsules. Now, they can load slides immediately without having to sort/batch, wait for an open tray, or find an open reagent position. Since each staining station is independent, there is no scheduling impact or lengthening of the completion time for already running slides.

With the help of the Sakura Finetek’ s Tissue-Tek AutoSection and Tissue-Tek Genie this lab was able to address the 3 challenges that affected their workload and TAT:

  1. Tissue preservation
  2. Lab staff or histotech with RMD diagnosis
  3. Spikes or increasing workload
Histological Score Cell vs. Sectioning Method

Box plots demonstrate decreases in staining intensity variation of a cell culture microarray core with increased automation in microtomy.

To read more on Robotic and semi-automated microtomy can decrease variability in HER2 staining intensity, click here

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