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Evaluation of a completely automated tissue-sectioning machine for paraffin blocks
  1. Maristela L Onozato1,2,
  2. Stephen Hammond3,
  3. Mark Merren2,
  4. Yukako Yagi1,2
  1. 1Pathology Information and Communication Technology (PICT) Laboratory, Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  3. 3Department of Pathology, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Maristela L Onozato, PICT Laboratory, Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 101 Merrimac St, Suite 820 Boston, MA 02114, USA; likaono{at}


Tissue-sectioning automation can be a resourceful tool in processing anatomical pathology specimens. The advantages of an automated system compared with traditional manual sectioning are the invariable thickness, uniform orientation and fewer tissue-sectioning artefacts. This short report presents the design of an automated tissue-sectioning device and compares the sectioned specimens with normal manual tissue sectioning performed by an experienced histology technician. The automated system was easy to use, safe and the sectioned material showed acceptable quality with well-preserved morphology and tissue antigenicity. It is expected that the turnaround time will be improved in the near future.

  • Histology
  • automation
  • serial section
  • robotics
  • pathology
  • whole slide imaging
  • 3D reconstruction
  • digital pathology
  • evaluating instrument
  • kidney

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  • Competing interests Kurabo Industries paid maintenance costs of the machine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Institutional Review Board of Massachusetts General Hospital.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.