Loss of tissue samples in the tissue microarray: comparison between techniques using commercial adhesive tape, silane-coated microslides by the conventional method and by a modified technique

INTRODUCTION/OBJECTIVE: The tissue microarray (TMA) technique allows the evaluation of multiple tissue samples in a single block. One of the problems of TMA is the ungluing of tissue sections, thus commercial adhesive tape has been used to reduce this loss. There are no reports comparing the use of the commercial adhesive tape with the use of the modified silane-coated technique. The objective of this study was to compare section loss in slides using commercial adhesive tape, silane-coated microslides with the conventional technique or with the modified technique. MATERIAL AND METHOD: The TMA was constructed with hepatic tissue blocks embedded in paraffin, using a fixed base device, placing 32 cylinders of 2 mm in diameter in duplicate and 2.2 mm apart from each other. Fifteen 4-µm sections were placed on conventional silane-coated microslides at 4% (Group 1), 15 on silane-coated microslides with a modified technique (6% of silane and minimum use of acetone) (Group 2), and 15 on slides using commercial adhesive tape, according to the manufacturer's recommendations (Group 3). All microslides were processed by immunohistochemistry for cytokeratin 18, with antigen retrieval accomplished by incubation with citrate buffer pH 6.0 with microwave enhancement. Samples loss was quantified and expressed as: total (> 80%), almost complete (75% to 79%) or partial (50% to 74%). RESULTS: The loss of sections was similar in all three groups (4.9 vs. 3.1 vs. 8.1, respectively) (analysis of variance [ANOVA], p = 0.3654). One slide using commercial adhesive tape showed artifactual ungluing of all sections and another one showed loss of 20 samples on one side of the slide. None of the silane-coated microslides showed such artifact. CONCLUSIONS: Silane-coated microslides show adequate results, require less technical training and reduce the cost of TMA procedure, what justifies their use in research. Moreover, the use of the modified silane-coating technique, with the reduction of acetone volume, lowers the costs and reduces chemical residues.

TMA; Sample loss; Immunohistochemistry; Silane-coated microslides

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