Creating slides is one of the most critical components of histology labs, but ensuring quality can sometimes slip if dealing with staff shortages. Your histopathology team has perhaps diminished lately due to budget cuts. As a result, any fill-ins creating slides may not know exactly what they're doing with techniques like sampling, processing, and staining.
So what do you do if you're going ahead with a critical preclinical study, but you worry your staff won't turn out quality slides? You're better off putting a halt to these risks and outsourcing to a third-party lab.
Assuring Precise Necropsy Techniques
Preparing your slides always means going through the necropsy process and the various procedures involved. Some of these techniques require exacting techniques that requires years of experience to execute correctly.
One of the most important is adequate fixation and letting the tissue sample properly fix before doing trimming. Not doing proper fixation could lead to what's called autolysis, which is the destruction of cells or tissues by their own enzymes.
When time is of the essence, you don't want this happening, especially when you can't replace the tissues involved.
It's one step you can outsource to an expert histopathology team. Yet, it's only the beginning of the entire slide production process and the quality steps needed for success.
Trimming Tissue Samples
Just before being placed into blocks, tissue samples need proper trimming. As you've probably seen before from your pathology team, this is one of the most delicate tasks involved before slide production.
Cutting the tissue requires going no thicker than 3mm, so you're likely reminded how exacting it is. Even more challenging is the processing of the tissue before the cutting occurs. It can take extra time for the processing to take place. Sometimes tissues become over-processed or under-processed when processing occurs on different types of tissues at once.
The above is why outsourcing this task to a third-party lab is best. It allows more quality time for processing and doesn't conflict with other duties.
While you can find a lot of tutorials on organ sampling and trimming, don't take any risks with your staff if they aren't up on the latest techniques and regulations.
The Embedding Process and Section Quality
These two steps are just as essential and intricate before slide production takes place. Embedding the tissue into blocks directly correlates to trimming above. Positioning in the block is also critical in all your microtomy efforts.
Creating a quality section is imperative before creating an image for slides. The biggest hurdle is making sure you don't get artifacts in the section, something that could affect slide quality. Often called floaters, this debris is often inevitable when going through all the steps in creating a section.
A well-trained pathologist in an outsourced lab has better skills at doing the cutting compared to those with brief experience. Considering those who work in third-party labs do this work every day, you can see why outsourcing is one of the smartest things you can do.
Working With Dyes and Finding Good Quality Control
The last step toward good slide production is the use of dyes and assuring they're properly applied to the tissue before producing slides. Results on staining can vary because of differing equipment in labs.
You're better off outsourcing your entire slide production process so you can guarantee the best possible quality to avoid delays.
On top of expert work with dyes, you'll also get the best quality control to make sure image quality is high per slide. QC can easily become inferior when you face staff cuts and rely on those who aren't up on the latest federal regulations.
Contact us at HSRL, so we can provide top-tier slide production if you're unsure of the techniques listed above. We handle many different lab tasks to uphold your reputation.