[Histonet] Microwave retrieval

Luis Chiriboga Luis.Chiriboga <@t> med.nyu.edu
Thu Oct 21 08:44:54 CDT 2004

Hi everyone
Here's a slightly different view.
I'm on my third household microwave in the past 6 years. I have used the
microwave (occasionally MW pressure cooker) for all my HIER and have been
able to get extremely reproducible results.  If you look through the
literature, you'll pretty much find that the source of heat is not
important, it is the amount and time. That being said,  the way I get around
the "hotspot" and "drying" issues is to antigen retrieve in a large volume
of retrieval buffer.  I use 1000 ml beakers filled up to ~900 ml. I always
start out with the same volume to be as consistent as possible. I have
figured the amount of time it takes to get the volume boiling and just add
that to my HIER time.  periodically I check to make sure that the preheat
time is still appropriate as the microwave generators do lose power over
time. Obviously, this approach would not be applicable for those of you who
by commercial grade retrieval buffers.  We make up all are own stuff (20 L
at a time) and go through it quite quickly. My lab is research primarily and
when I showed one of our administrators the price of a laboratory grade
microwave, he had a stroke.  I guess when your poor (us research folks are
on the bottom of the food chain) you have no choice and have to make do with
what you got.......
Hope this helps

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
[mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu]On Behalf Of Weems,
Sent: Thursday, October 21, 2004 8:15 AM
To: marjorie lehman; Amos Brooks; histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: RE: [Histonet] Microwave retrieval

We were fortunate enough to have some left over capital dollars and have
purchased the new Biogenex Retreival Microwave. It is wonderful - saves lots
of time and gives consistency in staining! The only thing we would change is
to be have smaller containers for instances when we have just a few slides
to retreive. But we think its a winner for those of you are looking to
purchase it.


-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
[mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu]On Behalf Of marjorie
Sent: Thursday, October 21, 2004 7:19 AM
To: Amos Brooks; histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: RE: [Histonet] Microwave retrieval

Here is a Second Opinion!
I tried using a (Household) microwave for a long time and was not happy.
I got my Decloaking Chamber from Biocare I never looked back!

-----Original Message-----
From:	Amos Brooks [SMTP:amosbrooks <@t> earthlink.net]
Sent:	Wednesday, October 20, 2004 8:00 PM
To:	histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject:	[Histonet] Microwave retrieval

         I strongly recommend that you don't try to put a coplin jar of
retrieval solution with slides in it in the microwave and expect any
consistant results. What happens with this method is you get a spike of
heat then a temperature drop. Very often there is boil over and your slides
dry out. Ideally you should be looking for an even temperature for a
defined length of time that can be well monitored.
         For this reason if you *must* use a microwave it should be a lab
grade oven that has consistant wattage and temperature control. It would
also be good to use one of the microwave pressure cookers to improve the
consistency. (I think Biocare Medical has them ... the guys that sell Borg
         My ultimate recommendation is to stick to the tried and true
waterbath or steamer method. It may take a bit longer but the consistancy
is better and there is far less variables in the procedure.
Just my opinion,
You know what they say 'bout opinions,
Amos Brooks

At 01:00 PM 10/20/2004, you wrote:
>Message: 10
>Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2004 11:30:26 -0400
>From: "Harris, Ed" <Hared <@t> FGHI.COM>
>Subject: [Histonet] Microwave retrieval
>To: "'histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu'"
>         <histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu>
>Message-ID: <BCBDA208D7498449A95432B874A9629752AAE1 <@t> fghmail.fghi.com>
>Content-Type: text/plain;       charset="iso-8859-1"
>Can anyone give me the pro's and con's of steamer/pressure (Decloaker) vs.
>microwave retrieval ?
>Our Doc wants us to change from the Decloaker to microwave. Is a household
>microwave adequate or do we need a lab grade unit?
>Does the microwave save time and improve turn around time?
>Thanks in advance
>Ed Harris  HT ASCP MT ABB

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