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

  • NIH eSubmission Items of Interest - July 28, 2016

    The latest NIH eSubmission Items of Interest for July 28, 2016 is now available.

    Topics Covered

    • Select Federal-Wide Forms Expiration and Updates
    • First Due Date Using FORMS-D for Fellowship Applicants on August 8, 2016
    • System for Award Management (SAM) Registration and Annual Renewal Guidance
    • ASSIST Usage Growth Continues

    Review the attached PDF or visit the NIH eSubmission Items of Interest website for more information.

    Posted by Office of Sponsored Programs | 07/29/16
  • July 2016 Issue of Compliance 411 Newsletter Published

    The University Compliance Office announces publication of the July 2016 issue of their quarterly newsletter, Compliance 411

    Among the topics in this issue are Responsible Conduct of Research at UAB; new Recertification of Effort Form and process; a profile of Research Integrity Officer Pam Bounelis, PhD; defining fabrication, falsification and plagiarism; new research data management requirements; and the new chemical inventory system.

    Your comments and feedback regarding Compliance 411 are welcome; please contact compliance@uab.edu.

    Attachments:
    Posted by University Compliance Office | 07/22/16
  • UAB Industry-Sponsored Clinical Trials F&A Rate Will Increase Effective July 1, 2016

    Effective July 1, 2016, the UAB Facilities & Administrative (F&A) rate for industry sponsored or funded clinical trials will increase to 30%. This change is only applicable to new submissions to the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) on or after July 1, 2016.
    Posted by Office of Sponsored Programs | 07/01/16
  • Recertification of Effort Form and Process Change

    Effective July 1, 2016, the Recertification of Effort Form will be used for recertifying a previously certified effort report and certifying a delinquent effort report. The Recertification of Effort Form, which replaces the form entitled ORC Review Request (commonly referred to as a "request to recertify effort"/"RFR"), is listed as follows on the Financial Affairs forms site:

    OSP-FA-Effort-160701.jpg

    The new form was drafted with considerable feedback from stakeholders on campus.  Enhancements to the form include:

    • More specific questions to be addressed by the submitter in order to help mitigate follow-up and expedite the review and approval;
    • Clear roles and responsibilities for each signing official; and
    • An accompanying informational attachment of the effort recertification process.

    In addition, there is a routing change. The effort recertification forms are to be forwarded directly to Financial Affairs by the Dean’s offices upon completion and approval rather than to the University Compliance Office (UCO). If you have any questions regarding this new process change, please contact the University Compliance Office at (205) 996-6540.

    Posted by Office of Sponsored Programs | 07/01/16
  • Search Opened for Vice President of Research

    The UAB Office of Human Resources has posted information on the search for the next Vice President of Research, including information about the Opportunity, Search Committee membership, and current stage of the search process. 
    Posted by Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development | 07/01/16
  • UAB Research-Related Fee-for-Service (FFS) change effective July 1, 2016

    Currently, Fee for Service (FFS) agreements are processed at UAB by University Contracts and are assessed a 5% of revenue administrative processing fee. As Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs are not currently assessed on those FFS activities related to research, UAB academic units do not receive any F&A distributions in support of their research missions, despite the fact that these FFS activities result in true research infrastructure expenses. In addition, current FFS activities are not counted toward UAB’s national metrics on research expenditures (e.g., NSF HERD, etc).

    As such, and consistent with practices of peer institutions, all agreements (and contract renewals) with terms beginning on or after July 1, 2016 for research-related FFS contracts will be processed by the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) and be assessed F&A at a rate of 30% on cash received. Budgets for research-related FFS contracts should include recovery of full direct costs in accordance with the University’s Direct Costs Policy (available on Financial Affairs website) and the appropriate F&A rate as described above.

    Posted by Office of Sponsored Programs | 06/06/16
  • OSP Announces Streamline of NCC Submission Process and Updated Checklists

    ​In a continuing effort to streamline submission processes, the Office of Sponsored Programs is pleased to announce that NIH Research Performance Progress Report submissions (also known as RPPRs), other Noncompeting Continuation/Continuation submissions, and Pre-Application submissions no longer require a signed UAB Extramural Support Checklist, but should now be sent to osp@uab.edu with a UAB Expedited Checklist.
    Posted by Office of Sponsored Programs | 05/27/16
  • NIH Proposal Submission Revised Procedure

    The UAB Office of Sponsored Programs is pleased to announce the newly revised procedure for review of NIH proposal submissions for large submission deadlines involving NIH Research Project Grants (R01), Research Career Development Awards (K) and Research Fellowship (F) proposals. In order to review NIH proposals as quickly as possible, OSP has implemented a proposal review pool which will allow OSP to introduce additional reviewers to assist with proposal review when needed.

    NIH proposal submissions to OSP for deadline dates of June 5th and July 5th (R01), June 12th and July 12th (K) and August 8th and 13th (F), will  be assigned rotating through a  pool of reviewers instead of an assignment to a specific officer by department. The reviewer will be identified in the Receipt of Submission email once a complete submission is received by OSP. This change is effective immediately.

    NOTE: This is only applicable to new NIH proposal submissions for the above mentioned NIH deadlines. All other NIH proposal submission deadlines will be routed to the officer assigned to your specific department. All NIH awards will continue to be processed by the OSP officer assigned to your specific area.

    Please continue to follow the OSP Review Plan to ensure that your reviewer has sufficient time to properly review the proposal. 

    Please forward any questions regarding the NIH proposal review process to Tim Parker at tmparker@uab.edu or askosp@uab.edu.

    Posted by Office of Sponsored Programs | 05/26/16
  • New Guidance Information on IRB Website

    The OIRB has provided updated guidance information on our website.  New information has been posted regarding the following:
    • Flowchart to determine who are key personnel
    • NIH description of ethnic and racial categories
    • IRB form compatibility

    Key Personnel

    The IRB has created a flow chart to help determine whether individuals involved with research should be considered to be key personnel involved in the conduct of human subjects research.  The Key Personnel Flowchart is available under the General category on the Other Guidance page of the IRB website.

    Ethnic and Racial Categories

    The table on the Investigator's Progress Report follows the reporting requirements of the NIH. The following is their description of how the ethnic and racial categories are defined:​​

    Ethnic Categories

    • ​​Hispanic or Latino: A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.  The term “Spanish origin” can also be used in addition to “Hispanic or Latino.
    • Not Hispanic or Latino​.

    ​​​​​​Racial Categories

    • ​American Indian or Alaska Native: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North, Central, or South America, and who maintains tribal affiliations or community attachment.​
    • Asian: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam. (Note: Individuals from the Philippine Islands have been recorded as Pacific Islanders in previous data collection strategies.) 
    • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
    • Black or African American: A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. Terms such as “Haitian” or “Negro” can be used in addition to “Black or African American.”
    • White: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

    IRB Form Compatibility Issues

    IRB forms on this page are compatible with Microsoft Word 2010 and newer on Windows and Microsoft Word 2016 for Mac. Some features (e.g., checkboxes) are not compatible with older versions of Microsoft Word or any version of Pages for Mac. The newest versions of Microsoft Word are available at no charge to UAB faculty, staff, and students through UAB IT. Contact UAB IT for more information on upgrading your software. If you are unable to upgrade to a compatible version of MS Word, you may simply place an "X" before the checkbox that corresponds to your answer in the form.
     
    Posted by Office of the Institutional Review Board for Human Use | 04/22/16
  • 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
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