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Tissue Processors and Histology: Xylene-Free Options
Jaleh Mansouri, M.D.
Tissue processing remains one of the most critical steps in procuring high quality diagnostic material for microscopic pathologic evaluation. Unfortunately, exposure to histologic reagents such as xylene can result in acute and chronic health problems including respiratory and gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction. Xylene acts as a clearing agent and solvent and is used in tissue processing, staining, and cover-slipping. While closed automated tissue processors have helped reduce the exposure of laboratory personnel to xylene, there has been an increased emphasis on developing and implementing protocols that are xylene-free.
Alternative tissue processing protocols can involve the substitution of xylene by varying mixtures of ethanol/isopropanol or isopropanol/paraffin. Advantages include the reduced toxicity and cost of isopropanol (compared to xylene) as well as decreased processing times. Preliminary testing of such protocols has already been performed in the United Kingdom (e.g. Leica Biosystems, Thermo Fisher Scientific), the Netherlands (e.g. Thermo Fisher Scientific), and the United States (e.g. Thermo Fisher Scientific) with encouraging results. Given the current climate of safety, environmental, and economic concerns, one can expect additional U.S. laboratories to participate in the validation of safer and more cost-effective xylene-free methodologies in the future.
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Leica Microsystems is a leading global developer and manufacturer of a broad range of innovative, high-tech, precision optical systems for the imaging, measurement, and analysis of microstructures. Leica Microsystems is one of the market leaders in each of its four divisions: Life Science, Industry, Biosystems, and Surgical. Business areas include Microscopy and Imaging Systems, Specimen Preparation, Medical Equipment, and Antibodies and Reagents. The company offers instruments and system solutions for the entire histopathology process including the Novocastra™ range of antibodies and reagents, consumable products, and clinical microscopes. The company is represented in over 100 countries with 9 manufacturing facilities in 7 countries, sales and service organizations in 20 countries and an international network of dealers.
Milestone Medical provides a portfolio of standardization and documentation products for the grossing
workstation. From our MacroPATH D digital imaging, annotation and storage
system to the CheckLITE non-contact specimen thickness measurement device and
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MOPEC is known world-wide for the innovative functionally of their products. MOPEC designs, engineers, manufacturers and installs custom Pathology Laboratory Equipment, delivering
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For more information, visit us at http://www.mopec.com/ or call us at 800.362.8491.
Past / Future Feature Pages:
November 2013: Consumable Lab Products / Clinical Lab Analyzers
December 2013: Grossing Equipment / Workstations
January 2014: Billing / Consulting / Management
February 2014: Microscopes / Microscopy Products
March 2014: Tissue Processors / Other Histology
April 2014: Laboratory Accreditation / Education / CME
May 2014: Computer Software and Systems
June 2014: Diagnostic Testing / Reagents
July 2014: Imaging / Digital / Photography
August 2014: Books & Journals
September 2014: Antibodies / Biomarkers
October 2014: Laboratories
November 2014: Consumable Lab Products / Clinical Lab Analyzers
December 2014: Grossing Equipment / Workstations
January 2015: Billing / Consulting / Management
February 2015: Microscopes / Microscopy Products
March 2015: Tissue Processors / Other Histology
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