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Getting Started

Procedure for Submitting Tissues


Mark Containers Clearly

Please mark all containers clearly, so that the labels are easy to read.

  • Labels written with most commercial markers (including solvent resistant pens and Sharpie) will dissolve due to the prolonged exposure to xylene and fixative during processing.
  • The Histology Core Facility is not responsible for labels lost to processing.

May Submit Cassettes

Alternatively, tissues can be submitted in cassettes labeled with a #2 pencil.

  • Cassettes can can be purchased from Fischer (Histosette Biopsy Cassettes, cat. #15182702A).
  • Labels written with most commercial markers (including solvent resistant pens and Sharpie) will dissolve due to the prolonged exposure to xylene and fixative during processing.
  • The Histology Core Facility is not responsible for labels lost to processing and will not be expected to re-label cassettes submitted in pen.

Accepted Solutions

Tissues can be submitted in the following solutions:

  • 10% Phosphate (or neutral)-buffered Formalin -Fisher cat. #SF100-4
    Formalin is the most basic fixative and is available from Fisher (10% phosphate-buffered formalin, cat. #SF100-4).
  • Buffered Formaldehyde Solution
    Formaldehyde fixative must be made fresh from paraformaldehyde (PFA) or a formaldehyde solution. The best source of fresh formaldehyde is Ted Pella, Inc, who sells sealed ampules of formaldehyde in different concentrations.
  • Bouin Solution
    Bouin solution is an old and rarely used fixative, but is still available from Sigma and Fisher.
  • PBS Buffer (after fixation)
    After buffer washes for fixed tissues, PBS buffer should be used as a holding solution until tissues are further processed. Tissues in PFA fixative or in PBS buffer should be stored in the refrigerator.

Tissue Processing Sheet

Print and complete the  Tissue Processing Sheet-Paraffin or the Tissue Processing Sheet-Frozen depending on whether you'd like paraffin embedding for your sample or have frozen tissue (see protocol below for freezing tissue down and embedding in O.C.T.). On these forms you can identify any special directions or embedding instructions, type of fixative used, how long tissues have been in fixative, number of slides needed, and any other special instructions you wish to provide for the histotechnologist. Please fill out the form in its entirety and enter Grant # (or Dept ID) for internal users and PO# for external users.

Protocol for Processing Tissue for Frozen Sectioning.

Contact Information

Histology Core
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Charles A. Dana Research Building, 8th Floor
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
617-667-4117
617-975-5562