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One-step embedding method for maintaining orientation of pathological tissue specimens using agar thin films


Pathological histology examination involves handling a variety of specimens that are cut according to regulations and placed in cassettes. Tissue fragments in the cassettes are then diagnosed after processing, embedding, thin sectioning, staining and other procedures using a processing machine. Maintaining tissue fragment order and orientation during these processes is important for accurate diagnosis. In this study, we present a method of maintaining tissue fragment order and orientation using a thin film of ultra-high-strength agar and evaluate its usefulness during tissue sectioning.

Cassettes were prepared, each containing three pieces of porcine liver, and compared embedding time with and without agar thin films (ATFs). Embedding was performed by three medical laboratory scientists with different levels of experience.

To enable one-step tissue sample embedding, ATFs were integrated with samples in the cassettes. This resulted in an average reduction of 6.22 s of embedding time per cassette compared with traditional embedding methods.

Through the use of ATFs, tissue fragment order and orientation is maintained, and embedding process time shortened. Additionally, ATFs are easily prepared and stored in 10% neutral buffered formalin over extended periods, allowing for immediate use during sectioning. This method is ideal to implement in busy pathology laboratories.

  • Diagnostic Techniques and Procedures
  • Laboratory Manual
  • Medical Laboratory Science
  • Pathology, Surgical
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care

Data availability statement

Data are available on request to the corresponding author. All data relevant to the study are included in the article. All data that are publicly available and used in the writing of this article in the text and the reference list.

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