Recently a new Tissue Microarray method was developed that showed a lot of potentials when it comes to enhancing the efficiency levels of the aging genetic research techniques. The new technique involves precision localization and observation of the donor blocks backed by proper representation of the same. The process involves a microscope that is equipped with a stereoscope. The method is discussed in detail in the sections that follow.
What is TMA?
Before going deeper into the discussion, it is important to discuss what Tissue Microarray exactly is so that new readers can understand the method better.
TMA or Tissue Microarray is an important part of genetic research. The method first came into light after Kononen et al put forth his idea in the Nature Medicine magazine in the year 1998 while working in close acquaintance with the National Human Genome Research Institute.
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The new method simplified the process that was often looked upon as inefficient, hard to follow and execute all the while giving results that are far from correct. Further benefits that a researcher can reap from this new method are right results, reduced costs and a method that has plenty of applications.
The necessary equipment needed for the method
The following tools and apparatus are required for proper execution of the process:
- Common light microscope
- Sampling needles, holding apparatus
- Paraffin fixing box
- Screws, buts, and turnbuckles for adjusting the microscope pillar
- Buckles for keeping the glass slider in place
- Sufficient amount of recipient and donor paraffin embedded blocks that will act as the tissue cores.
- An oven with temperature controlling mechanism
- Glass slides
- Tissue sectioning and transferring tools
- Reagents that staple for staining and molecular pathology
- scanning apparatus and
- computer aided analytical system
Acquiring tissue samples
It is best to opt for either endoscopically removed or surgically removed fresh tissue samples for best results. It should be followed by banking the same in a paraffin-embedded tissue block as soon as possible for proper preservation. The acquisition procedure should involve the following processes to make sure that samples collected keep their genetic information for long periods of time:
- tissue fixation
- hyaline and
- paraffin embedding
Methods implemented while constructing paraffin TMA block
The process is a bit long but it can be summed up as follows:
- making holes on the recipient blocks followed by tissue core sampling and insertion
- tuning the holding needle to the working place and punching in the right spot that will act as the recipient hole in the recipient block
- it should be followed by pressing the core needle to squeeze out the paraffin
Molecular pathological detecting, transferring and sectioning
After all the samples are inserted into the paraffin block, the same needs to be heated up in the temperature controlled oven at 58 to 65 degrees Celsius. After the tissue core cools down, it needs to be flattened by a glass slide. The procedures that will follow from here are tissue slice transferring, sectioning and routine staining either by using immunofluorescent in situ hybridization or PCR.
Data analysis of data through computer imaging
It is an important step as the data collected through observation needs to be thoroughly documented to use the same for future medical analysis.
The new method can be used for creating high-quality tissue chips that find extensive use in the study and analysis of tumours. The benefits of the new method are many which have been briefly described in the sections above. The results one can get from this new method will not only be more accurate but also less labor-intensive and cost-efficient at the end of the day.