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Education & Training Resources to help you upskill your knowledge and technical expertise in the lab.

  • Express Talk: Embedding Technique for Mohs Micrographic Surgery
    Embedding process is a crucial step in the preparation of specimens for Mohs Micrographic Surgery. In this express talk, I will demonstrate how and why I use this technique. Presented by Melinda Chow
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  • Express Talk: Ribbons: The Lost Treasure of the Block
    In the world of Histology, the name of the game often is to do a lot with only a little. Biopsies in general are small samples of tissues, but more and more frequently, they are becoming even smaller in size with a larger demand to obtain as much information as possible. IHC and Molecular testing are often necessary tools that aid in the diagnosis process, and having sufficient tissue to perform those tests is vital. At the University of Vermont Medical Center we have implemented a process that helps to conserve certain tissue types while at the same time providing the ability to cut through the tissue for a thorough examination. By saving the ribbon sections between levels (that would normally be thrown out), we are able to go back to certain areas from within the tissue block to perform IHC, special stains, etc. if an area of interest is seen on the H&E sections, and if this area is no longer present in deeper sections. Saving tissue on black paper also helps with cost reduction we use less slides and use up less space in the slide filing drawers. Presented by Amer Abu Alfa and Alexa Buskey
  • Express Talk: Non-radioactive Uranyl Acetate Substitutes for Biological Electron Microscopy: Why Lanthanide Substitutes are Safer, Contrast effective and Cost Efficient
    Contrast staining in biological electron microscopy (EM) is typically achieved using en bloc and post-section staining with uranyl acetate (Uac), a toxic reagent that poses a significant health hazard due to mild radioactivity. Increasingly restrictive regulations, radiation monitoring, storage and the financial cost are becoming barriers to using Uac routinely in EM labs, giving rise to a need for non-radioactive, less expensive substitutes with equivalent contrast results. Gadolinium triacetate (GA), a non-radioactive, low hazard substitute for Uac, and other reported lanthanides will be discussed with examples of combinatorial en bloc and post-grid staining as compared to Uac staining for scanning and transmission EM. By using GA for routine EM staining, it is noted that the electron density for contrasting cellular membranes, organelles, and extracellular matrices were equivalent to Uac staining without the accumulation of precipitate artifact. Furthermore, GA costs less than Uac, does not require special handling, monitoring, storage, or radioactive waste disposal. Presented by Philip Seifert
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  • Express Talk: Decalcification of Dental Tissues
    The histological and histopathological processing of dental tissue (both teeth and odontogenic lesions) for investigational and diagnostic purposes is a routinely-required procedure in the research centers and laboratories of all sizes. Although the general approach to histopathological procedures are more and less similar the routine and bone tissue processing , special interest must be given due to highly complicated structure of the teeth and dental tissue. Demineralization or decalcification is a routine procedure carried out in most histopathological laboratories as a part of calcified tissue preparation for the microscopic examination. There are several methods that have been used for decalcification .Choice of decalcifying method and agent influenced, urgency of the case, degree of mineralization, extent of investigation and staining technique required. Presented by Sibel Elif Gultekin
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  • Express Talk: Stains Be Gone
    The telltale signs of a hard-working histotech include hands and other parts stained with Schiff's reagent, eosin, silver and other solutions. This short talk will discuss a variety of methods for removing these stains and invite attendees to offer their unique suggestions as well. Presented by Jean Mitchell and Surena Becraft