[Histonet] microwave processing on a budget...

Anthony Reilly Tony_Reilly <@t> health.qld.gov.au
Tue Dec 19 00:51:38 CST 2006

Hi Debbie

I will be interested to hear other subscriber's comments with regard
microwave processing of skin.  In our lab we do not have a microwave 
processor but we do microwave fix on a regular basis.  Having 
said that we always resist microwave fixing skin as the process
the skin tissue giving it that "overcooked" appearance which occurs
tissue has been exposed to too much heat during processing.  This is a

genuine artifact as we have found in a whole container of breast
which has been microwave fixed only the nipple will be damaged.

With regard to your second hand processor, it is a bit like buying a
hand lawn mower, you get what you paid for. If it is a shandon from
late 1980s early 1990s they were notoriously flawed, particularly the 
heating bands for the retort.( Current models are fine)  A new modern
standard processor will give you good morphology on small skins on a 
2-4 hour processing run and larger skins dependent on the amount of
present will process well on 9-12 hour cycles.

While microwave processors have their place in Histology for the high 
throughput laboratories that are running 18-24 hours per day, if your
lab is working predominately day shifts only, I do not believe the 
advantages of the microwave processors will be achieved and therefore 
the extra cost of purchase is not warranted.  As well as this most
microwave processors require the user to purchase the manufacturer's
"secret" proprietry solution/s creating further ongoing costs.


Tony Reilly
Chief Scientist
Anatomical Pathology
QHPS-Prince Charles Hospital
Rode Rd Chermside Q 4032
Ph: 07 3139 4543
Fax: 07 3193 4546
tony_reilly <@t> health.qld.gov.au

>>> Debbie Keith <debbiekeith <@t> cox.net> 12/19/06 3:46 am >>>
Hey all...

i have a few questions about microwave processing skin biopsies
utilizing a 
microprocessor.  i've looked into protocols and equipment but figured
would be the best/quickest sources  of trial/error stories.

i want to get a used lab microwave but want to hear good/bad stories
the folks in the trenches. :)  marketers can sell me ANYTHING!!  i
might be 
the ONLY person that bought the magic bullet food processor AND the
knife.  (for the record, they are NOT as sharp after cutting through a
can.  fyi.)

i purchased a used shandon hypercenter from a surplus lab equipment 
place... and it's been such a NIGHTMARE.  with enclosed processors
are so many possible issues.  gaskets/circuit boards/cable ports....  
starting to think micro-processing would keep the biomedical-nightmares
a minimum. have i inhaled too many fumes or could i be onto something?

i REALLY don't want to resort to an old carousel processor.

the specimens will be limited to small shave/punch skin biopsies and
runs will never be more than 20 blocks.  i would love to hear from
that has done this with good results.  i'd like to hear the "avoid THIS
all costs...." stories as well. :)

histonette is such a wonderful resource!  you guys are AWESOME!


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