[Histonet] question of the day - embedding

Shelly Christenson Christen <@t> vet.k-state.edu
Wed Feb 18 08:25:24 CST 2009

We also don't keep melted paraffin in the holding chamber of the embedding center. We keep the chamber just a little warmer than the melting point of the paraffin, been doing it this way for as long as I have been working here at the Veterinary diagnostic lab at KSU ( around 20 yrs). I also don't like the tissue to be left to long in hot paraffin and I still find that certain samples are still brittle, I know that processing schedule and size of sample has a lot to do with it, but we have only one processor and have to run all of our samples on the same program, so we soak the blocks a little longer on the ice.

Shelly Christenson HT (ASCP)
Veterinary Diagnostic Lab
Kansas State University

>>> Tracy Bergeron <tracy.bergeron <@t> biogenidec.com> 2/17/2009 3:14 PM >>>
Hi all question/dilemma of the day.

        I have been of the view that the longer tissue sat in melted 
paraffin the harder it got, especially animal tissue.  So with that said, 
for the past nearly 10 years I have not used melted paraffin in the 
holding chamber of the embedding center.  I just keep the chamber warm, 
and work that way.  Thus keeping the tissue from continuing to cook and 
harden in the wax.

        Everyone else I am currently working with has never seen the 
method I use, and firmly believe that this causes harm to the tissues if 
they are not in paraffin.

        Thoughts ideas etc.  I am dying to know if I am the only one that 
worries about length of time that animal tissue sits in paraffin.


Tracy E. Bergeron, B.S., HT, HTL (ASCP)
Associate Scientist III, Pathology
Comparative Pathology Laboratory
Biogen Idec
14 Cambridge Center
Cambridge, MA 02142
Direct:  617-914-1115
Fax:  617-679-3208
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