Processing Equipment

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Processing Equipment

In the early 1900's, tissue processing was accomplished manually. Today, an assortment of automated tissue processors has become the “pièce de résistance” in the histology laboratory. In order to allow histotechnologists to focus on microtomy and staining, automated tissue processors have become a necessity. Although tissue processors have been in the histology laboratory for decades, today’s automated models pride themselves on being faster, safer, and more consistent than their predecessors.
After selecting the appropriate automated tissue processor, a combination of factors must be considered when deciding on the subsequent processing protocols. These protocols can directly affect the quality of processed tissue specimens. Some of the main operational factors include:
  • Staffing
  • Turn-around time
  • Cost
  • Safety
  • Quality and consistency
  • Tissue type and size
  • Staining techniques
  • Reagent availability
  • Reagent recycling
  • Hazardous waste disposal
Histology laboratory personnel spend an inordinate amount of time optimizing processing protocols and addressing tissue processing concerns. Since tissue processing is influenced by a wide range of variables, processing is rarely perfect and good troubleshooting skills are necessary to pinpoint the problematic step.