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The type and quality of paraffin wax is important when constructing tissue microarrays
  1. J Dennis1,
  2. J Westra2,
  3. A Bell3,
  4. K Montgomery4,
  5. K Oien5
  1. 1Cancer Research UK Department of Medical Oncology, University of Glasgow, Cancer Research UK Beatson Laboratories, Glasgow G61 1BD, UK
  2. 2Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Groningen, Antonius Deusinglaan 4, 9713 AW Groningen, The Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Pathology, Division of Cancer Sciences and Molecular Pathology, University of Glasgow, Western Infirmary, Glasgow, G11 6NT, UK
  4. 4Department of Pathology, Stanford University Medical Center, 300 Pasteur Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
  5. 5Cancer Research UK Department of Medical Oncology, University of Glasgow, Cancer Research UK Beatson Laboratories

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    Tissue microarray (TMA) technology allows the representation of hundreds of tissue samples on a standard microscope slide. This is achieved by arraying small cores (0.6 mm in diameter) of paraffin wax embedded tissue samples in a recipient wax block. Sections cut from the array can then be assessed by immunohistochemistry or in situ hybridisation, according to standard protocols. TMAs enable the high throughput assessment of the presence and location of expressed genes, saving time, reagents, and clinical material. There have been several reviews on TMA construction and use,1 but we have recently encountered a technical problem that, as far as we are aware, has not been described in the literature.

    Multiple TMAs, each containing 292 cores, were constructed according to standard protocols.2 Sections were cut without mishap using the adhesive …

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