Trimming Tissues

Trimming Tissues

Use a sharp blade such as this one, which has a handle with replaceable blades. Handles and blades are available from vendors of histology and pathology supplies.



Tissues must be trimmed to a thickness that will allow them to be completely permeated with paraffin, and to provide the orientation needed. We suggest "thick as a nickel" as a thumb rule. Some mouse organs are small enough that they are best embedded whole.

 

If there is an area of particular interest, such as a tumor, in the specimen, trim the tissue so that the area of interest is near one surface of the specimen, and place that surface down in the cassette.

Be sure to let the histotechs know if the area of interest is very small to ensure that it is not lost or missed. Be advised that it is very difficult to trim and embed tissues so precisely that it can be determined before sectioning which sections will contain such areas. In such cases it is advisable to request serial sectioning and to save all sections until you're certain you've obtained the information you need. Blocks can always be cut deeper, but discarded sections are gone forever.

Don't place too many tissues in the cassette. Overcrowding can inhibit proper processing, and it isn't possible to get that many tissues positioned in the block for good sectioning anyway. This one should have about 1/2 or 2/3 of the amount of tissue shown.

As a general rule, place tissues of similar consistency together. For example, don't place tough tissues such as skin in the same cassette as soft tissues such as spleen or brain. If the tissues vary greatly in consistency, they may not all section well.

If the tissue is very small, biopsy pads can be used to help prevent the specimen from being lost. Biopsy cassettes with fine screens also are available. Biopsy pads also can be used to prevent samples of skin and hollow organs from curling during fixation, but care must be taken not to compress or distort the tissue.

In general, biopsy pads should not be used with larger tissue samples. However, they can be used to maintain orientation or positioning of trimmed samples, as distortion is of less concern with fixed solid tissues. (See the examples on the Special processing & embedding page.)

Additional News and Announcements

  • REACT Center Survey: What Can We Do For You?

    The REACT Center is requesting input which will help better meet the needs of the rehabilitation research community and direct activities of the new National Resource Center for High-Impact Clinical Trials in Medical Rehabilitation (NIH grant P2CHD086851). They have posted a brief  medical rehabilitation clinical trials needs assessment survey. The Center will base education materials, workshops, and collaborative opportunities on survey results; thus guidance from the research community is central to its mission. 
     
    Posted by Center for Exercise Medicine | 02/04/16
  • Reminder Regarding ASSIST Grant Applications

    As the February 5th deadline for new NIH R01 submissions approaches, OSP would like to remind you that all competing, single-project NIH grant applications can now be submitted through ASSIST.
    Posted by Office of Sponsored Programs | 01/25/16
  • Request for Nominations for Director of the Center for Structural Biology (CSB)

    ​The UAB CSB Internal Search Committee invites nominations of UAB faculty members for the position of Director of the Center for Structural Biology (CSB). The CSB was established in 2011, and is one of 24 University-wide Interdisciplinary Research Centers (UWIRCs); it has been led by Lawrence J. DeLucas, Ph.D., since its inception. The mission of the Center for Structural Biology is to support research and education through exploration of structure/function relationships for biological macromolecules and the development of novel technologies for biomedical research which enhance UAB’s basic and translational research goals. Center membership includes more than 125 faculty and non-faculty members and hosts a number of on-site core facilities, as well as access to a national laboratory x-ray beam. The Director will oversee all of the interdisciplinary center activities, be a member of the Council of Center Directors and be responsible for interfacing with participating schools and managing the budget. Nominations, including self-nominations, should include a CV and a one (1) page summary outlining the qualifications of the proposed Director and summarizing ideas and plans if appointed to the position. The decision will be made after review and interviews by the Search Committee. Nominations should be submitted to Jamie Seitz (jbseitz@uab.edu) by Friday, January 29, 2016.
    Posted by Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development | 01/19/16
  • ASSIST Now an Option for All NIH Competing Grant Applications and Some Post-Award Administrative Actions

    ASSIST is now an option for all single and multi-project, competing grant applications; single-project administrative supplements; single-project, post-award successor-in-interest (type 6) requests; and single-project, post-award change of institution (type 7) requests.
    Posted by Office of Sponsored Programs | 01/14/16
  • Important NIH Notices

    • Updates to NIH & AHRQ Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR) to Address Rigor and Transparency
      (NOT-OD-16-031) National Institutes of Health
      Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

    • New Salary and Research Cost Allowances for K08 and K23 Career Development Awards
      (NOT-OD-16-032) National Institutes of Health

    • Advanced Notice of Coming Requirements for Formal Instruction in Rigorous Experimental Design and Transparency to Enhance Reproducibility: NIH and AHRQ Institutional Training Grants and Individual Fellowships
      (NOT-OD-16-034) National Institutes of Health
      Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
    Posted by Office of Sponsored Programs | 01/14/16
  • NIH eSubmission Items of Interest

    NIH eSubmissions Items of Interest for January 5, 2016. ASSIST support has expanded for single-project grant applications in 2015. ASSIST copy application feature is now enhanced to copy attachments. New application forms and policy changes will soon take effect for on January 25, 2016.
    Posted by Office of Sponsored Programs | 01/14/16
  • NIH Update: Incoming Applications, Due Dates; NIH's Strategic Plans; Considering Variables in Pre-Clinical Research

    The latest updates from NIH Extramural Nexus for December 2015 and January 2016 containing relevant announcements and notices have been released. Topics include incoming applications, due dates; NIH's strategic plans; and considering variables in pre-clinical research.
    Posted by Office of Sponsored Programs | 01/14/16
  • Announcing The 2017 Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Opportunity

    The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium is now seeking applicants for the 2017 National Sea Grant College Program Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. The fellowship is funded through the National Sea Grant Office and administered through individual state Sea Grant programs. Knauss Fellows spend a year in marine policy-related positions in the legislative and executive branches of the federal government in Washington D.C. Past fellows have worked in the offices of U.S. Senators and Representatives, on Congressional subcommittees, and at agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    Posted by Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development | 12/15/15
  • MTO Change in Process for Finalized Agreement Documents

    The Material Transfer Office is changing the process for providing finalized agreements to the campus. Previously the finalized documents were emailed to the investigator, now the investigator will be notified that the finalized agreement is available for viewing through an eReport.

    Details can be found on the IRAP Website.

    Posted by Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development | 12/10/15
  • Jonathan Miller Joins UAB OVPRED

    Jonathan Miller has joined the UAB Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development as assistant vice president for research administration operations and systems, moving from the UAB Office of the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Leslie Cooper, associate director of the IRB, has been named interim director. Leslie has worked in the Office of the IRB since 2003.
    Posted by Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development | 12/04/15
View RSS feed