The paraffin tissue microarrays (PTMAs) introduced by Kononen et al. in 1998 have become a widely used technique in routine pathology and even more so in research. Kononen used a tissue puncher/arrayer (Beecher Instruments, Sun Prairie, WI, USA) to take paraffin tissue core biopsies (PTCBs) of 0.6 - 2 mm in diameter from routine paraffin tissue blocks and transfer them to another paraffin block with up to 1000 holes. As pointed out by Mengel et al., however, it is not possible to use the Kononen/Beecher system to construct PTMAs out of archived paraffin tissue core biopsies. In order to overcome this drawback in the extremely popular Beecher system we modified the paraffin tissue punch by incorporating a conical 4 mm deep countersink. This countersink was milled with a conical precision cutter which can be bought in an ordinary hardware store (cost: less than 5 US$). The countersink facilitates the insertion of an archived PTCB into the paraffin tissue punch and makes it possible to construct PTMAs with previously archived PTCBs using the widely distributed Beecher system. Moreover, this paraffin tissue punch can be used for other systems to create PTMAs like the low budget systems designed by Vogel.
- tissue microarray
- tissue punch