go to PELCO BioWave® Pro Laboratory Tissue Processing System


Many references are available, including the book:
"Microwave Techniques and Protocols", Demaree and Giberson, 2001 ( Prod. No. 24940)

Research by Sanders and Gartner resulted in a very interesting paper in the above book describing successful in vivo nuclear labeling of both Allium sp. root tip and Drosophila melanogaster embryos using low power (~250W) and the PELCO ColdSpot®. This paper is evidence to support microwave activity in contrast to sole dependency on heat effects.

chicken embryo
Microwave-assisted labeling using Sytox (Molecular Probes, Inc.) nucleic acid stain on vibratome section of chicken embryo. Fixed vibratome sections were incubated in 2 mM Sytox for 2 minutes at 200 Watts, 2 minutes without microwave irradiation, and 2 minutes at 200 Watts microwave incubation under continuous 15in. Hg vacuum. Optical sections were collected on a BioRad 1024 laser scanning confocal microscope using 488nm excitation wavelength. Digital projections were made from the ~50mm thick optical sections to create the plate. Mark A. Sanders, Imaging Center, University of Minnesota.

Diagnostic EM

Giberson RT, Austin RL, Charlesworth J, Adamson G, Herrera GH, 2002. Microwave and Digital Imaging Technology: Reduce Turnaround Times for Diagnostic Electron Microscopy. Ultrastructure Pathology (in press).

Giberson RT, Demaree Jr RS, Nordhausen RW, 1997. Four-hour processing of clinical/diagnostic specimens for electron microscopy. J Vet Diagn Invest 9:61-67.

hair cell
An inner hair cell (IHC) with supporting cells (S) from a Japanese macaque monkey cochlea decalcified using microwave methods. The arrows indicate rough endoplasmic reticulum and golgi apparatus. Bar = 3.0µm. Reprinted from Madden VJ and Henson NM, Hearing Research, Volume 111, issues 1-2, 1997.

The characteristic long, narrow, undulating microvilli are easily identified from this mesothelioma of the pleura processed by microwave methods for diagnostic electron microscopy, described by Munn RJ and Vogt PJ, In: Microwave Techniques and Protocols, 2001 ( Prod. No. 24940). Robert Munn, School of Medicine, UC Davis, Davis, CA. Bar = 1.0µm

epithelial cell
A turkey tubular epithelial cell with adenovirus nephritis. The tissue was processed by microwave methods for electron microscopy, described by Nordhausen RW and Barr BC, In: Microwave Techiques and Protocols, 2001 ( Prod. No. 24940). The nucleus of the infected cell shows an intranuclear paracrystalline adenovirus inclusion. Bar = 1.0µm. Bob Nordhausen, California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory, UC Davis, Davis, CA.

Electron Microscopy

Block-Alper L, Webster P, Zhou X, Supekova L, Wong WH, Schultz PG, Meyer DI, 2002. IN02, a positive regulator of lipid biosynthesis, is essential for the formation of inducible membranes in yeast. Mol Cell Bio 13(1):40-51.

von Dohlen CD, Kohler S, Alsop ST, McManus WR, 2001. Mealybug ß-proteobacterial endosymbionts contain g- proteobacterial symbionts. Nature 412:433-436

Giberson RT, Demaree Jr RS, 1999. Microwave processing techniques for electron microscopy: A four-hour protocol. In: Electron Microscopy Methods and Protocols, Hajibagheri N, ed. Humana Press, Inc., Totowa, NJ, pp 145-158 .

Fiala JC, Feinberg M, Popov V, Harris KM, 1998. Synaptogenesis via dendritic filpodia in developing hippocampal area CA1. J Neurosci 18: 8900-8911.

Demaree, R.S., Jr., Giberson, R.T., Smith, R.L. (1995) Routine microwave polymerization of resins for transmission electron microscopy. Scanning 17(Suppl. 5):25-26.

Giberson, R.T., Smith, R.L., Demaree, R.S. (1995) Three hour microwave tissue processing for transmission electron microscopy: from unfixed tissues to sections. Scanning 17(suppl. 5):26-27.

Giberson, R.T., Demaree, R.S., Jr. (1995) Microwave fixation: understanding the variables to achieve rapid reproducible results. Micros Res Tech 32:246-254.


Rassner UA, Crumrine DA, Nau P, Elias PM, 1997. Microwave incubation improves lipolytic enzyme preservation for ultrastructural cytochemistry. Histochem J 29:387-392.

Schray CL, Metz AL, Gough AW, 2002. Microwave-Enhanced Fixation for Rapid Preparation of Tissue Sections for Microscopic Evaluation. Histologic 35:1, pp. 7-12.

hippocampal neurons
Microwave processed and immunolabeled hippocampal neurons in culture. Hippocampal neuron labeled with anti-GFP primary and silver enchanced gold secondary demonstrates the membrane distribution of the protein. Buchanan et al., Microwave Processing and Pre-embedding Nanogold Immunolabeling for Electron Microscopy, Micros Microanalysis, 8(Suppl. 2):160-1, 2002.


Chicoine L, Webster P, 1998. The effect of microwave irradiation on antibody labeling efficiency when applied to ultrathin cryosections through fixed biological material. Micros Res Tech 42, pp. 24-32.

chromosomemicrowave-assisted in situ hybridization on pig chromosome preparation. labeling done with a pelco® microwave processor utilizing the PELCO ColdSpot® to regulate temperature and microwave energy distribution.
Processing completed in ~4 hours.


Micheva KD, Holz RW, Smith SJ, 2001. Regulation of presynaptic phosphatidy linositol 4,5-biphosphate by neuronal activity. J Cell Bio 154: 355-368.

Petrali JP, Mills KR, 1998. Microwave-assisted immunoelectron microscopy of skin. Micros Microanalysis 4 (suppl 2:Proceedings), pp. 114-115.


Madden VJ, 1998. Microwave processing of cell monolayers in situ for post-embedding immunocytochemistry with retention of ultrastructure and antigenicity. Micros Microanalysis 4 (Suppl 2:Proceedings): 854-55.

Rangell LK, Keller GA, 2000. Application of microwave technology to the processing and imunolabeling of plastic-embedded cytosections. J Histochem Cytochem 48:1153-1160.

Schichnes D, Nemson J, Sohlberg L, Ruzin SE, 1999. Microwave protocols for paraffin Microtechnique and in situ localization in plants. Micros Microanalysis 4:491-496.

nymphae xenopus laevis
Nymphae stem was processed into paraffin using microwave techniques taught at the annual Plant and Animal Microtechnique Workshop (Plant Biology 298 - Steve Ruzin - CNR Biological Imaging Facility) at UC Berkeley. The section was stained using Sharman’s Safranin O and Fast Green. The section shows muscilage and air canals. From Reijel Gardiner who won best plant preparation with this slide. Xenopus laevis skin processed into paraffin using microwave techniques taught at the annual Plant and Animal Microtechnique Workshop (Plant Biology 298 - Steve Ruzin - CNR Biological Imaging Facility) at UC Berkeley. The Xenopus tissue was H&E stained and demonstrates infection with epidermal parasites. From John Parker who won best animal preparation with this slide.

Plant Tissue

Inada N and Wildermuth MC, 2005. Novel tissue preparation method and cell-specific marker for laser microdissection of Arabidopsis mature leaf. Planta 211, pp. 9-16.

Lonsdale JE, McDonald KL, Jones RL, 1999. High pressure freezing and freeze substitution reveal new aspects of fine structure and maintain protein antigenicity in barley aleurone cells. The Plant Journal 17(2):221-229.

Ruzin SE, 1999. Plant microtechnique and microscopy, Oxford Univ. Press, New York, spiral bound ( Prod. No. 24980).

Schichnes D, Nemson J, Sohlberg L, Ruzin SE, 1999. Microwave protocols for paraffin microtechnique and in situ localization in plants. Micros Microanalysis 4:491-496.
(microwave embedding/polymerization after freeze substitution)

Scanning EM

Fox NE, Demaree, Jr RS, 1999. Quick bacterial microwave fixation technique for scanning electron microscopy. Micros Res Tech 46:338-339.

Microwave-assisted processing of rat hippocampus (Area CA1) as described by Feinberg et al., In: Microwave Techniques and Protocols, Humana Press, Totowa, NJ. 2001. ( Prod. No. 24940)

TEM Neurosciences

Tyler WJ, Pozzo-Miller LD. BDNF enhances quantal neurotransmitter release and increases the number of docked vesicles at the active zones of hippocampal excitatory synapses. J Neurosci 21:4249-4258.

Ahmari SE, Buchanan J, Smith SJ, 2000. Assembly of presynaptic active zones from cytoplasmic transport packets. Nature Neuroscience 3:445-451.

Jontes JD, Buchanan J, Smith SJ, 2000. Growth cone and dendrite dynamics in zebrafish embryos: early events in synaptogenesis imaged in vivo. Nature Neuroscience 3:231-237.