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

  • Research News Digest for Thursday, February 23, 2017

    Posted by Office of the Vice President for Research | 02/23/17
  • IRB Forum: Revised Human Subjects Protocol and Sample Consent Form

    The UAB Office of the IRB will host a forum go over the revisions to the Human Subjects Protocol and Sample Consent Form. This forum will be offered on two occasions:
    • Thursday 3/02/17 from 9am - 10:30am in Finley Conference Center, Kaul Building
    • Monday, 3/06/17 from 1:30pm - 3:00pm in Finley Conference Center, Kaul Building
    The same information will be presented at both forums. Registration is not required.
    Posted by Office of the Institutional Review Board for Human Use | 02/21/17
  • Input from Faculty and Core Users Requested

    The UAB Faculty Senate Research Committee is seeking institution-wide input from UAB faculty and Core users on the best way to achieve our institutional research goals.
     
    Please provide your constructive comments and suggestions below on the UAB Spark website: https://ideas.uab.edu/a/ideas/top/campaigns/19237. You will be required to log in with your blazerid to access the site. If you would like an idea posted anonymously, please contact moderators Karen Gamble at klgamble@uab.edu, Zdenek Hel at zhel@uab.edu or David Chaplin at dchaplin@uab.edu.
    Posted by UAB Faculty Senate | 02/20/17
  • Call for Abstracts for UAB Health Disparities Research Symposium

    The UAB Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center (MHRC) will host the 12th annual UAB Health Disparities Research Symposium, on May 3, 2017 at the DoubleTree Hotel. This year's symposium will take an in-depth look at the role of social determinants in population health.
     
    The symposium showcases the work being done to reduce health inequities in Alabama, the south, and the U.S. It provides an overview of the latest in health disparities research. Scientists and scholars look to it as an excellent opportunity to share discoveries, new approaches, and successful models.
     
    Abstracts for original health disparities research by investigators, students, and community partners are now being accepted. In addition to the fields of basic science, clinical research, social and behavioral science, community-based and health outcomes research, abstract submissions are encouraged for social determinants of health, behavioral and biological mechanisms of health disparities, community-based approaches to health, health policy, and population health. The deadline for abstracts is Friday, March 3.
     
    Featured speakers include Catarina Kiefe, Phd, MD, the Chair of Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Medical School.
    Dr. Kiefe combines the rigor of mathematics with the needs of clinical medicine. She draws upon the intellectual curiosity and drive for discovery that marked her early career as an abstract researcher, using it to help her lead an applied research program with the objective of improving healthcare outcomes for individuals and populations.
     
    Jeroan Allison, MD, MS is Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Quantitative Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he also serves as Associate Vice Provost for Health Disparities Research. Dr. Allison’s research focuses on quality measurement, implementation science, and statistical methodology, with an emphasis on eliminating racial/ethnic disparities in medical care and health outcomes. 
     
    The 2017 UAB Health Disparities Research Symposium is produced by the UAB Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center and co-sponsored by two national centers for health disparities research: Mid-South Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center, led by Mona Fouad, MD, MPH Director of Professor, UAB Division of Preventive Medicine and Director of the UAB MHRC, and Gulf States Health Policy Center, led by Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA, Founder and CEO of BayouClinic and 18th U.S. Surgeon General.

    Attachments:
    Posted by Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center | 02/20/17
  • Research News Digest for Monday, February 20, 2017

    In this edition of the Research News Digest:
    Announcements
    UAB-HudsonAlpha Genomic Medicine Post-Doctoral Training Program
    Input from Faculty and Core Users Requested
    Call for Abstracts for UAB Health Disparities Research Symposium
    Upcoming Events
    CCTS Lunch and Learn
    Genetics and Genomics Seminar Series - Lysosomal Acid Lipase Deficiency (LAL-D): An Underrecognized but Treatable Disorder
    2017 NIH NHLBI PCTC Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering (CVTE) Symposium
    Renal Symposium on Acute Kidney Injury; Cystic Disorders and Therapeutic Intervention
    Funding Opportunities
    REMINDER: 2017 Special Interest Projects (SIPs)
    Weekly Grants and Contracts Awarded Report
    Reports for 2017 (Updated every Tuesday)
    Posted by Office of the Vice President for Research | 02/20/17
  • UAB-HudsonAlpha Genomic Medicine Post-Doctoral Training Program

    The Helflin Center for Genomic Sciences is currently accepting applications for the NHGRI funded UAB-HudsonAlpha Genomic Medicine Post-doctoral training program.  The purpose of this training grant is to recruit postdoctoral trainees from various disciplines and provide mentorship and clinical research training in genomic medicine.  Trainees will receive a monthly stipend, tuition and fees assistance, health insurance and travel funds (at NIH-defined level).
     
    Sponsor: National Human Genome Research Institute
     
    Deadline: April 1st, 2017
     
    To read about eligibility, deadline and to apply please visit https://www.uab.edu/medicine/genetics/t32  
     
    Contact: Shaila Handattu PhD, MBA hande@uab.edu
     
     
    Posted by Heflin Center for Genomic Science | 02/17/17
  • Research News Digest for Thursday, February 16, 2017

    In this edition of the Research News Digest:
    Agency Notifications
    eRA Enhancements - February 14, 2017
    Announcements
    Free Training Sessions for NSF CAREER Awards
    New Effort Reporting LMS Course for the New Year
    Upcoming Events
    Genetics and Genomics Seminar Series - Lysosomal Acid Lipase Deficiency (LAL-D): An Underrecognized but Treatable Disorder
    2017 NIH NHLBI PCTC Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering (CVTE) Symposium
    Renal Symposium on Acute Kidney Injury; Cystic Disorders and Therapeutic Intervention
    UAB Postdoctoral Research Day
    Funding Opportunities
    REMINDER: 2017 Special Interest Projects (SIPs)
    Weekly Grants and Contracts Awarded Report
    Reports for 2017 (Updated every Tuesday)
    Posted by Office of the Vice President for Research | 02/16/17
  • eRA Enhancements - February 14, 2017

    New features and improvements will be released on February 16, 2017, for the Extramural Trainee Reporting and Career Tracking (xTRACT) system.
     
    Features and Updates
    • Text styling of names that are in all-caps.
    • Upload feature for participating faculty members on a Research Training Dataset (RTD).
    • Ability to cite publications with a large number of authors.
    • Year Awarded correctly shown in Table 8 for subsequent grants.
    Post-release details and screenshots will be made available through Online Help for xTRACT resources. The original announcement may be found on the eRA News website.
     
    Posted by Office of Sponsored Programs | 02/14/17
  • New Effort Reporting LMS Course for the New Year

    In conjunction with the implementation of the revised Effort Reporting Policy and Procedures effective October 1, 2016, a new effort reporting training module is now available in the UAB Learning System (LMS) system.
     
    This course is required of all employees who must certify effort on sponsored project(s) (UAB Project Employees, excluding non-exempt/biweekly paid employees) and Departmental Effort Officers (DEOs). Additionally, the school/college dean’s offices may elect to assign this training to other employees that may benefit from the course information as well.  The expectation is this course should be completed prior to certifying effort or distributing effort reports (i.e., before the 3/31/17 end date of the current effort reporting period). For those required to complete this training, the course was automatically assigned in the LMS system in early January 2017.  Those individuals received an email from hs-alerts@healthstream.com with the subject line, “New Assignment in the UAB Learning System”.
    Posted by University Compliance Office | 02/14/17
  • Free Training Sessions for NSF CAREER Awards

    The UAB College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to again offer campus-wide training to junior faculty planning to apply for a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award. The NSF awards CAREER research grants to new faculty at universities who are at the rank of Assistant Professor (or equivalent) in any of the broad science and social science disciplines that are eligible for NSF grants.  
    Posted by College of Arts and Sciences | 02/14/17
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