A Guide to Histology Equipment
From slicing to heating to storing, technicians have many responsibilities for their studies, and different forms of histology equipment allow laboratory technicians to evaluate samples. Professionals can manage several projects at once with various devices. This histology guide explores various types of equipment, their function and how to use them.
What Is Histology?
Histology studies the relationship between cells, organs and tissues. This science focuses on the microscopic structure of cells and tissues to better understand their structure and connections. Histology professionals section, stain and analyze various tissue samples to draw conclusions.
Histology Equipment Types and Their Uses
Histology professionals use a wide range of tools to analyze cells, organs and tissues. These are a few frequently used histology equipment examples:
1. Paraffin Wax Dispenser
Histology technicians use paraffin wax to strengthen tissue samples before cutting thin slices. The substance forms after petrol undergoes distillation, creating a white and solid wax. During tissue analysis, technicians prefer thin samples that allow light to pass through them. They embed tissue samples with paraffin wax, which firms the material. Then, technicians slice the tissues into small sections.
Paraffin wax dispensers store and heat liquid paraffin in histology laboratories. Technicians can dispense precise amounts on demand while they evaluate tissue samples. Dispensers are available in different capacities and voltages, allowing technicians to distribute exact amounts for their particular tissue samples.
To use a paraffin wax dispenser, follow all manufacturer and safety instructions. Basic usage instructions involve these steps:
- Place the dispenser on a flat surface in a dry, indoor environment.
- Remove the lid and fill the bath with wax materials.
- Replace the lid.
- Plug the dispenser into an electrical supply and set the heater control at the preferred temperature setting.
- Place your designated receptacle under the dispenser spout and pull the lever until the desired amount pours out.
2. Tissue Floatation Bath
Another essential histology tool is a tissue floatation bath. This equipment type aids with tissue analysis by removing wrinkles and distortions before technicians place samples on microscope slides. You can smooth and relax the tissues, allowing for more accurate evaluation later. The baths also provide temperature regulation, so you can adjust the tissue sample to the exact shape and size you need.
Floatation baths are available in many configuration types. Some have internal lights to increase visibility during use, while others contain wide rims so technicians can rest samples on the side while they dry. You can find a bath that suits your lab's needs.
Follow all manufacturer safety protocols and directions when using a tissue floatation bath. General operation guidelines include:
- Place the device on a flat surface.
- Fill up the bath with water until it's at least halfway full.
- Turn on the unit to activate the heating properties.
- Use the control dials to set the unit to your desired temperature.
- Use histology forceps to float the sectioned tissue in the bath.
- Let the sections float until they reach the proper temperature.
- Use slides to pick up the tissue section and orient.
3. Slide Storage
A significant component of histology includes studying cell and organ samples placed on microscope slides. The thin glass slides let you view samples from different angles and with complete visibility. Depending on the project, you might need to store samples and slides for weeks, months or years. Slide storage units let histology technicians maintain samples in the proper conditions, keeping them safe until the next use.
Slide cabinets hold many slides at once. You can choose from various sizes to find the best fit for your laboratory or project volume. They protect them from contamination, dust, cracks and other damage that could make samples unusable. Handles let you dispense slides individually to ensure they don't contact each other. In addition, organizational tools like labels and drawers let technicians sort slides by project, sample type or other identifiers.
Centrifuges use centrifugal forces to separate sample contents. They spin a rotor around a central point to achieve the necessary force.
Histology technicians use the device to refine tissue samples, allowing for closer analysis. Centrifuges can divide exact cells or tissues, which assists with other tasks like dissection, slicing and analysis. Centrifuges are available in many models to support different speeds and sample sizes.
While exact use instructions depend on your particular model, basic centrifuge operational guidelines are:
- Make sure the centrifuge is properly calibrated and ready for use.
- Insert the test tube samples into the designated spaces.
- Balance both sides of the centrifuge by ensuring they have equal mass. If needed, you can insert a test tube filled with water to balance the device.
- Secure the lid and use the dials to select your speed and other specifications.
- Start the centrifuge and let it follow the cycle.
- When the device finishes the cycle and stops spinning, open the lid and remove the samples.
In addition, always follow safety guidelines. For instance, you should only operate the centrifuge in a designated lab area and check for cracks or erosion before use.
5. Laboratory Incubator/Oven
Laboratory incubators with high temperature ranges should be utilized with paraffin-embedded tissues to avoid incidental fires and sample destruction. It is important to check manufacturer specifications and warnings when purchasing equipment for histology slide drying. Laboratory ovens operate similarly to typical kitchen ovens, allowing for intuitive use. Technicians must follow safety guidelines to avoid fire and health hazards. For instance, use safety protocols like:
- Only use the oven in a moisture-free, indoor area.
- Keep the oven at a significant distance from the walls and ceiling.
- If your oven has a vent or blower, keep it on during use to facilitate proper airflow.
- When placing samples in the oven, spread them out to ensure uniform heating.
- Never bake flammable or explosive materials. Avoid paraffin flashpoint temperatures.
- Use personal protective gear and designated tools to retrieve samples from the oven.
Contact Boekel Scientific Today
Various histology tools let technicians work with accuracy and efficiency in their laboratories. If you need high-quality histology lab equipment, browse products at Boekel Scientific today.
We are a leader in manufacturing, designing and supplying top-quality laboratory equipment. Since 1868, we've been dedicated to helping clients meet unique laboratory needs. Careful and dedicated construction allows our tools to last for many years. We offer a wide range of histology tools, from tissue floatation baths to centrifuges. Explore different sizes and configurations to find the closest matches for your lab and projects.