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Tissue Processing

Frozen tissue is typically mounted in OCT blocks following fixation and cryoprotection. For formalin-fixed tissue that will be embedded in paraffin blocks (FFPE tissue), we process the tissue through graded alcohols and xylenes for dehydration, followed by infiltration with paraffin wax. We use an automated tissue processor which handles large numbers of tissue samples and provides consistent processing. 

Paraffin Embedding

The dehydrated and paraffin-infiltrated tissues provided by our automated tissue processor are then embedded into paraffin blocks. We use a paraffin embedding station to properly orient the tissue in molds, and then fill the molds with paraffin wax with appropriate melting point and hardness to facilitate high quality tissue sectioning and subsequent staining.

Tissue Sectioning

We use digital microtomes for tissue sectioning. These highly accurate instruments allow for sectioning at a wide range of thicknesses. For FFPE tissue, we typically section at 5 µm thickness. We couple our microtomes with cooling/freezing stages. This strategy not only allows us to rapidly cut FFPE tissue, but also provides an excellent set-up for frozen tissue sectioning. We typically section frozen tissue at 20-30 µm thickness.

Learn more about our Tissue Preparation Services.

FAQs

When does Biospective use FFPE vs. frozen tissue sections?

The choice between FFPE and frozen tissue depends on a number of factors, including the specific antibodies used for IHC & IF studies, the number of serial sections planned, and standardized protocols that we have established for different animal models.


How does Biospective track the rodent tissues?

We have a rigorous process for tracking tissues in block, slides, etc. We use an automated slide labeler to print information directly on the slides and we can trace information about each tissue throughout our entire process.


Are Biospective's tissue preparation processes automated?

We use state-of-the-art, automated equipment in our histopathology facility, which allows for a high degree of efficiency, reproducibility, and throughput. However, there are areas where the human touch produces the best quality. We have strived to seamlessly combine automation with the irreplaceable expertise of our  lab team who have outstanding skills in key areas, such as tissue sectioning. 


More Information

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