Embedding Workstation with Biospecimen Traceability
Embedding will now have an added value: histotechs, while embedding, can scan the cassettes’ bar code and visually check the biopsies/specimens conformity to their original shape and numerousness, as images at the time of grossing and cassetting are displayed on the HistoDream EW screen.
HistoDream EW is a robust and reliable unit built to last: it is the ideal companion for tissue embedding and it’s fully equipped to answer any histotech request.
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The work area includes the embedding area, two grates to remove any excess wax from the blocks, eight tweezer holders and the cooling point. The work area temperature can be adjusted between 40°C (104°F) and 70°C (158 °F). Around the work area there are grooves and two drainage holes to quickly drain any excess wax. Below the work area there are two collection drawers for excess wax that are indirectly heated when the unit is on. A maximum of 8 tweezers can be housed in the tweezer housing holes.
The cooling point is an integral part of the work area for adjusting the specimens; each mold is filled to
about one third with molten wax. Molten wax begins to solidify quickly at the cooling point. While wax is semi-molten, the specimen can be adjusted as required. Finally, the mold can be quickly filled
A LED light system provides consistent diffused lighting in the embedding area and cooling point. This
assures an optimal view of the dispensing process and tissue position. The light can be turned on by pressing the corresponding LIGHT button on the keypad. The brightness of the light can be adjusted by pressing and holding the relevant LIGHT button on the keypad.
HistoDream EW routine maintenance prevents the onset of serious problems. Minimal routine maintenance is required from laboratory personnel using HistoDream EW. The following procedure is recommended to assure optimal performance for HistoDream EW.
Before/after every embedding
Ensure HistoDream EW is kept generally clean after each use. Do not use any abrasive or sharp material
that may damage the casing. Before each process, cleaning up the mould and tweezers is very important to prevent the block or tissue from sticking together.
The wax collection drawers must be checked every day, and must be emptied at least daily or whenever
they are full. To avoid contamination, do not re-use the wax collected in these drawers.
The procedure described here must be done at least once a day or following the regulations in use in the laboratory. For reasons of safety, any operation without the required personal protection equipment
is to be avoided.
The personnel involved in cleaning up HistoDream EW and its optional parts (if any) must wear personal
protective equipment, specifically:
• HI-RISK type single-use protection gloves (100% latex or equivalent material). Personal protection
system compliant with standard EN 374 and Directive 89/686/EEC.
• Antibacterial mask for surgical/operating theatre uses and a white coat. Personal protection system
compliant with standard EN 149 Grade FFP3D and Directive 89/686/EEC.
By its very nature, HistoDream EW requires careful cleaning up every day after use.
Do not use solvents, aggressive detergents or sharp or pointed objects to clean the unit. Use the wax
scraper supplied with the instrument. Citric acid-based detergents and/or hot soapy water are also suitable for cleaning up the unit. The work area has drainage channels conveying any excess wax into the excess wax collection drawers. Before emptying the wax collection drawers, any excess wax in the work area must be removed to prevent wax from seeping into the instrument. To clean drainage channels and outflow holes, use a cotton pad.
Regularly empty the wax collection drawers. Emptying frequency may vary depending on use but is strongly recommended at least once a day. If the wax collection drawers are not emptied according to the previous instructions, excess wax will flow into the instrument and may damage it. Removing any wax from the excess wax collection drawers is made much easier by covering the whole bottom of each drawer with a simple piece of paper. Carefully remove the paper when required, but at least once a day.
Before extracting the removable drawers to empty them, remove any traces of molten wax from the work area with extreme care to prevent them from seeping into the equipment. On completion of the cleaning up operations, wait at least 5 minutes before connecting the unit to the power supply line and using it.
When using the heated forceps:
– Never insert the heated tips of the tweezers into two different holes because this would cause damage to the insulating layer, thus making the tweezers unusable.
– Join both tips of the tweezers and then place them into the hole. This will prevent damage to the insulating layer.
– Regularly check the insulating layer of the heating element.
– If heated tweezers are used to handle metal parts such as molds, make sure you only touch them with the end tips of the tweezers, avoiding any contact with the heating element.
Failure to comply with this indication may cause a deep abrasion in the insulating
layer with a consequent short circuit and loss of warranty.
Tissue embedding is a tissue preparation technique used when a technician needs to be able to cut very small samples of tissue with a device known as a microtome. The tissue is supported in a medium, allowing the technician to create even, accurate cuts without crushing or otherwise damaging the tissue. The slices of tissue can be examined under a microscope to study their characteristics and collect information for use in diagnostic evaluations and other studies.
Samples of tissue can come from surgical biopsies, autopsies, and many other sources. The technician places the tissue into a cassette designed to be submerged in the embedding medium. Paraffin, plastics, epoxies, and some types of gel media can all be used. Once the medium has set, the sample can be pulled back out, inspected to confirm the embedding went smoothly, and sliced as desired. Thanks to the support of the medium, very fine tissue slices are available, allowing the technician to visualize a high level of detail.
Placement of samples in the cassette requires some training and experience, as the tissue needs to positioned appropriately for the type of study being conducted. If it is not placed right, it will be difficult to cut the desired cross sections and the sample may be ruined. Care must also be taken to process samples before embedding, following the appropriate protocol for the type of tissue and the treatment. Most labs have their own manuals for tissue embedding and other procedures and they expect technicians to follow these manuals.
Devices designed specifically for tissue embedding are available for labs in need of such equipment. These machines vary in size and design depending on the number of samples they are designed to process. Some are designed for specific embedding media, including proprietary compounds intended for specific kinds of histopathology applications. Tissue embedding equipment tends to be expensive and manufacturers have sales representatives who can provide information and advice when a lab is selecting new or replacement equipment. (1)
(1) wiseGEEK: What is Tissue Embedding?
Written By: Mary McMahon
Edited By: Kristen Osborne
Last Modified Date: 15 December 2019
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