The use of microwave-assisted processing for special stain
protocols, especially silver stains, will shorten staining times
and produce better, more reproducible results.
A. Technology is required to achieve consistent and
reproducible results. Rate of temperature increase, control of
maximum temperature and uniform temperature throughout the staining
vessel are the keys.
B. A unique PTFE-coated temperature probe has been
designed for special stains and decalcification. The coated temperature
probe will not contaminate or react with the wide range of reagents
required for these processes.
C. The following microwave technology guarantees reproducibility
during special staining:
a. Air bubbler: A specially designed air bubbler with
needle valve air-flow control plus accessories to achieve uniform
spatial heating in a vertical column of stain (i.e. coplin jars).
b. Variable wattage: The duration of continuous microwave
exposure can be varied to yield the best heating curve and temperature
control for the particular stain.
c. Temperature restrictive temperature probe: The PTFE-coated
probe is set to maintain any desired temperature maximum of the
stain reagents. This feature makes microwave-assisted staining
a ONE STEP operation.
d. Water recirculation: Makes calibration of the microwave
cavity quick, easy and reproducible from run to run. It also
guarantees that the microwave environment remains uniform over
time when employing long (typically >1 min.) periods of continuous
D. The duration of microwave exposure is dependent
on the results each individual lab desires. Continuous microwave
times from 2 to 5 minutes are good ranges for silver stains.
The results of microwave exposure can be evaluated as being a
linear process. If four 1 minute irradiations yield the desired
results, then one continuous 4 minute irradiation should yield
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