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Sample Identifi cation Solution Procedure Figure 2 : Resin block showing identifi cation tag and barcode within the block.


specimens prepared for light and electron microscopy. T is can be diffi cult. Most traditional labels will not adhere to the resin blocks, and those that are preserved in the capsule along with the sample are prone to smudging or smearing. T is article describes a patent-pending identifi cation solution, ResiTAGTM (GA International, Laval, Canada) and shows how to incorporate it into the microscopy laboratory workfl ow.


Materials and Methods For TEM applications, ResiTAGTM is a label that is embedded in the resin capsule or mold alongside the sample ( Figure 2 ). T is tag can be printed with alphanumeric text, serialized numbering, and 2D barcodes. It works with any standard model of thermal transfer printer such as a label maker. T ermal transfer printers use ink ribbons made of wax, resin, or a blend of wax and resin to print on labels. T ese printers use heat and pressure to transfer the ink from the ribbon onto the label surface, producing a sharp, high-quality printout, ideal for printing serialized information and barcodes. Using a resin ribbon can provide a robust printout that can withstand extreme temperatures as well as exposure to many harsh chemicals and solvents. Moreover, printing the label instead of hand-writing the information allows the user to inscribe much more information, while ensuring the text remains readable. T e addition of a 2D barcode tied to a database, like a laboratory information management system (LIMS), allows even more information to be encoded on the label, up to 2000 characters, while also serving to keep track of and catalog a large number of samples. A barcode scanner is required to read the 2D barcode, however there are now code-specifi c apps available for download that allow a smartphone to become a scanner. Furthermore, the small size of the ResiTAGTM label accommodates various sizes of embedding capsules and molds. When printed with a chemical-resistant ribbon (XAR-class, GA International), the ResiTAGTM label withstands histological resins and ovens up to 100°C. T e printout can withstand up to 100% ethanol, methanol, isopropanol and other alcohols, xylene, toluene, acetone, formalin, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), as well as other harsh chemicals and solvents. T is has been confi rmed through extensive testing, including exposing the labels to spraying, swabbing, and immersion in the various chemicals.


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Free online Word templates are available for use in generating the desired printout for ResiTAGTM labels. Furthermore, barcode labeling soſt ware, such as BarTender, can be used to design, create, and print serialized labels and scannable 2D barcodes. Once the printout has been created, the labels, supplied in roll format, can be printed in the exact number needed, whether that be one label or hundreds ( Figure 3 ). T e speed and darkness level of the thermal printer can be adjusted to optimize the appearance of the printout. Once printed, the labels can be used to label slides or containers if desired, as they come coated with a strong adhesive. T e labels have been designed with small perforations down the middle, allowing the ResiTAGTM label to be folded in half, creating an adhesive-free double-sided tag. T e small size and design of the label helps to ensure the correct folding of the label. T is can be done prior to or while samples are being handled since these labels have a glove-friendly adhesive that will not stick to gloves ( Figure 4a ). T e fl exible tag may now


Figure 3 : (a) Label maker printing labels. (b) Strip of pre-printed labels. www.microscopy-today.com • 2018 September


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