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Demystified … Tissue microarray technology
  1. J Packeisen1,
  2. E Korsching2,
  3. H Herbst2,
  4. W Boecker2,
  5. H Buerger2
  1. 1Department of Pathology, Klinikum Osnabrueck, 49076 Osnabrueck, Germany
  2. 2Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Muenster, 48149 Münster, Germany
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr H Bürger, Institute of Pathology, University of Muenster, Domagkstr. 17, 48149 Münster, Germany;


Several “high throughput methods” have been introduced into research and routine laboratories during the past decade. Providing a new approach to the analysis of genomic alterations and RNA or protein expression patterns, these new techniques generate a plethora of new data in a relatively short time, and promise to deliver clues to the diagnosis and treatment of human cancer. Along with these revolutionary developments, new tools for the interpretation of these large sets of data became necessary and are now widely available. Tissue microarray (TMA) technology is one of these new tools. It is based on the idea of applying miniaturisation and a high throughput approach to the analysis of intact tissues. The potential and the scientific value of TMAs in modern research have been demonstrated in a logarithmically increasing number of studies. The spectrum for additional applications is widening rapidly, and comprises quality control in histotechnology, longterm tissue banking, and the continuing education of pathologists. This review covers the basic technical aspects of TMA production and discusses the current and potential future applications of TMA technology.

  • tissue microarray
  • high throughput techniques
  • quality control
  • FISH, fluorescent in situ hybrisation
  • IHC, immunohistochemistry
  • TMA, tissue microarray

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