[Histonet] Cassettes and Processing and Fixation ~ Oh My!

Sean McBride smcbride <@t> cs.cmu.edu
Mon Mar 9 10:05:36 CDT 2009


1.  Specimen size dictates to cassette size for our lab.
2.  Yes, we use sectioned racks & organize our specimens in sequential order
in case the marker is accidentally solvated during the processing.
3.  Again, specimen size and tissue type dictate to our fixation schedule,
but we never formalin fixate a specimen for only 5 minutes.  I prefer to
error on the side of caution.

~Sean McBride

Senior Researcher
Bone Tissue Engineering Center
Carnegie Mellon Research Institute
Suite 4311
700 Technology Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-3124

412-268-8275 (o)
412-901-7540 (m)
412-268-8641 (fax)
smcbride <@t> cs.cmu.edu

On 3/9/09 10:43 AM, "Jones, Laura" <lpjones <@t> srhs-pa.org> wrote:

> Hi all.  We are having a discussion here about everything in my subject line,
> but to be more specific:
> 1.  Do you all use different types of cassettes for different sizes of
> tissues?  We have screen cassettes for prostate biopsies, and biopsy cassettes
> for skins, and regular flow through type for larger-than-they-should-be pieces
> that have grid marks on them.
> 2.  When you load your cassettes on the processor, do you use the "organized"
> basket that spaces them out or the "random" basket?  If you use the "random"
> method, how tightly do you feel the cassettes can be packed?  Isn't it true
> that if they are packed too tightly, the fixation of the tissue will be
> compromised?  And, how does everyone use agitation/stirring on the processor?
> We have always used it, but are wondering how others are doing things.
> 3.  Finally, for a run of combination tissues as described above, what would
> be your recommended time in formalins?  We know all Pathologists are in a
> hurry for slides, but is a 5 minute station ever acceptable?
> This is all a result of weeks of discussion about possible changes we could
> make here, and varying things we have learned over the years... we'd just like
> to hear what everyone else is doing.  For instance: would it be simpler to use
> biopsy cassettes for everything?  Should we consider using the random basket
> instead of the organized one?  How far back could we cut our processing times
> to expedite things?  We'd really appreciate the input of all you experts.
> Thanks in advance!
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