Sample Identifi cation Solution

Figure 4 : (a) Folding the label. (b) Placing the label in a half-fi lled resin block. (c) Finished block with barcode for automated fi ling.

be positioned as desired inside the capsule or mold containing the sample and liquid resin ( Figure 4b ). Additional liquid resin may be added aſt er inserting the tag to arrive at the fi nal volume. Aſt er baking in a histological oven to harden the resin, the completed block is permanently labeled and ready for sectioning ( Figure 4c ). Once the resin is solidifi ed, the label can be easily read or scanned using a barcode scanner to identify the contained biological specimen. An ultramicrotome can then be used to trim the resin block and generate ultra-thin sections. A glass knife should be used when sectioning as a metal blade can cause severe wrinkling of the sections. T icker sections can potentially be mounted onto glass slides, for use in light microscopy, with additional ResiTAGTM labels used to identify each new slide. T is allows identifi cation and tracking of the many generated slides, while also linking them to the original resin block. Individual labels can be identical to the one placed in the resin capsule or individualized for each new section. T e labels also resist a wide range of histological stains, such as hematoxylin and eosin. T is allows the labeled slides to undergo the staining process without compromising the integrity of the labels. In the case where the ultra-thin sections are then mounted onto electron microscopy grids, labels may be affi xed to the grid box. However, for the small individual grids, care must be taken to maintain a manual record of their origin, processing, and observation.

Discussion T e development of ResiTAGTM provides a reliable labeling solution for scientists, particularly those handling multiple specimens per day in large-scale microscopy facilities. It is also useful in the archiving of valuable biological specimens for research purposes. Using a thermal transfer printer allows the printing of hundreds of labels in minutes. T e combination of the ability to physically store the sample data with the sample and the incorporation of laboratory information systems management soſt ware (LIMS) into the labeling process ensures the integrity of precious sample data, even during long-term storage. T e permanent identifi cation of resin blocks is essential, as these specimen blocks serve as important archival records. In a clinical setting, tissues may be stored for long periods of time and may only be analyzed long aſt er the sample was collected. Moreover, human biopsies are invasive and diffi cult to obtain for

2018 September •

both the physician and the patient. T erefore, great care must be taken to preserve and recall the information associated with these samples, as they are not easily replaced. T is is particularly true for medical testing laboratories, which oſt en refuse samples that are not clearly identifi ed. Furthermore, resin-embedding is oſt en performed off -site in large microscopy facilities where hundreds or thousands of samples are processed daily, increasing the possibility for errors. T e use of 2D barcoding soſt ware can reduce human error, even when many samples are processed at once, by removing the need to document specimen inventory manually.

Conclusion T e identifi cation of resin blocks used in electron microscopy can be a challenge. It is important for proper tracking of samples and to ensure the proper conclusion is drawn from the analysis. T e use of ResiTAGTM to identify resin blocks along with their associated thin sections allows for more information to be displayed, while also reducing errors and enhancing traceability.


We would like to thank the lab of Dr. Tamara Western in the Department of Biology at McGill University, along with Mike Ogden from the same department, for their help in developing and testing the product.

References [1] P Echlin , Handbook of Sample Preparation for Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Microanalysis , Springer , New York , 2009 .

[2] JP Gunasegaran , Textbook of Histology and A Practical Guide , Elsevier , India, New Delhi , 2016 .

[3] MM Dallak et al ., Open Cardiovasc Med J 2 ( 2008 ) 70 – 78 . [4] For more information on ResiTAG please visit: www. .

[5] MM Dallak et al ., Open Cardiovasc Med J 2 ( 2008 ). Open Access image at php?img=PMC2570581_TOCMJ-2-70_F6&query=M M+Dallak&it=xg&lic=by&req=4&npos=6 . No changes were made, license: by/3.0/ .


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