[Histonet] microwave antigen retrieval

Patti Loykasek ploykasek <@t> phenopath.com
Mon Oct 10 12:23:12 CDT 2005

Dear Jeff, 
Just my view, but to me the most important aspect of HIER is to standardize
it as much as possible. If you are performing HIER in open coplin
jars/dishes in the microwave, the best way to do this is to always use the
same volume of liquid, the same # of slides, to do the ³hot spot²check of
you microwave as discussed in various journal articles on the use of
microwaves in the lab. That being said, I recommend using a steamer when
possible and if  you must microwave do so using a pressure cooker. For the
steamer, you can standardize the size of container, the volume of liquid,
and we insert thermometers through the holes in the lid of the steamer to
standardize the temperature point that we start timing the HIER. For the
microwave pressure cooker, we standardize the volume of liquid, the number
of slides ran, and the time under pressure. The pressure cooker reaches
pressure when the pressure indicator becomes raised, and there is an
accompanying Œwhistling¹ sound ­ I will say that this is perhaps not true
standardization as one has to become familiar with the correct Œwhistle¹
sound, but it works for us.
Well, I¹ve rambled on about this enough , and haven¹t even answered your
question. I can tell you that we use an inexpensive microwave with the
microwave pressure cooker. The only use for the microwave is for HIER using
the pressure cooker.

Patti Loykasek BS, HTL, QIHC
PhenoPath Laboratories
Seattle, WA

> Dear Histonetters,
> Can anyone recommend a good microwave for antigen retrieval? The cheap oven we
> have gives inconsistent temperatures that I don't want to rely on any longer.
> I haven't been able to find an adjustable wattage model that is not extremely
> high end, but I don't know if the adjustability is desirable but not
> absolutely essential. Any advice would be appreciated. I apologize if this is
> a hackneyed question and I haven't kept up. Thanks,
> Jeff Thompson
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