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A very important part for any histology laboratory

There are several important processes inside a laboratory. Testing samples and performing researches is part of the daily-bases routine. Tissue processing is a very important part of any histology laboratory.

Tissues are made from large groups of cells that cluster together to complete a shared function. A tissue processor is an instrument that is used to analyze and process samples by fixing, staining, dehydrating or decalcifying them.

These devices have slowly evolved to be safer in use, handle larger specimen numbers, process more quickly and to produce better quality outcomes. Most modern fluid-transfer processors employ raised temperatures, effective fluid circulation and incorporate vacuum/pressure cycles to enhance processing and reduce processing times.

Tissue processor

Tissues are made from large groups of cells that cluster together to complete a shared function. A tissue processor is an instrument that is used to analyze and process samples by fixing, staining, dehydrating or decalcifying them.

In the biochemistry field, the staining process involves adding a class-specific (DNA, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates) dye to a substrate to qualify or quantify the presence of a specific compound. Staining and fluorescent tagging can serve similar purposes. On the other hand, in the biological field staining is also used to mark cells in flow cytometry, and to flag proteins or nucleic acids in gel electrophoresis.

Automatic slide stainer

Most dyes used to visualize the membranes and organelles of the cell are water-soluble. The embedded wax must therefore be removed prior to staining. This is done by effectively reversing the tissue-processing schedule.

The staining process is a routine technique that reveals exceptional detail of tissue structure and makeup of the cells. It is a very common auxiliary technique in the microscopy field. In the staining process, the operator highlights the structures in biological tissues and that allows a more detailed look of the sample.

There are different staining methods, but one of the most used isthe Hematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) staining. This procedure is used routinely in histopathology laboratories because it provides the pathologist, researcher or lab technician a very detailed view of the tissue. Maybe you are wondering why? It is because it achieves this by clearly staining cell structures including the cytoplasm, nucleus, and organelles and extra-cellular components. This information is often sufficient to allow a disease diagnosis based on the organization (or disorganization) of the cells and shows any abnormalities or particular indicators in the actual cells (such as nuclear changes typically seen in cancer).

Even when advanced staining methods are used, the H&E stain still forms a critical part of the diagnostic picture as it displays the underlying tissue morphology, which allows the pathologist/researcher to correctly interpret the advanced stain.In a clinical histology laboratory, all specimens are initially stained with H&E and special or advanced stains are only ordered if additional information is needed to provide a more detailed analysis, for example to differentiate between two morphologically similar cancer types.

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This article was published on Monday 04 September, 2017.

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