Q & A

What preparations need to be made before submitting the samples?

After harvesting, the samples should be placed in a liquid fixing agent (fixative) such as formaldehyde solution (formalin). Ideally, samples should remain in the fixative for long enough for the fixative to penetrate every part of the tissue. The samples should be fixed for 6 to 24 hours. It depends on the tissue size and kind. Then transfer the samples to 70% Ethyl Alcohol and get ready to submit. 

The samples should be submitted in tissue cassettes labeled clearly with special chemical-resistant markers or pencils. Never use Sharpie or typical markers.

 

How do I place an order?

While preparing samples, please complete the Histology Project Submission Form 1 and 2 (P.I.’s signature is needed). Then submit the form to jzhang27@mdanderson.org; we will discuss the details about the order. We suggest you provide a list of your samples since some labels are not clear to recognize.

 

Do I need to pay for the order?

No. The lab is supported by ERO (Experimental Radiation Oncology) and RO. Up to now, you don’t have to pay for the order if you are from ERO or RO.

 

When and where should I drop off my samples?

After you submit the request form, we will discuss the specific time in the email. 

The histology lab is at Z7.4031A. Please drop off the samples on the table outside the door at the appointed time and label your name (or P.I.’s) on the container.

 

When and where will I pick up my samples when my order is done?

You will receive an email once your order is completed. You could pick up your samples from the table beside the door of Z7.4031A. Please recognize your own samples and don’t take others by mistake.

 

What is the standard thickness of a slide section?

FFPE (Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded) sections: 4μm

Frozen sections: 4-5μm

 

Can I provide my own slide box(es)?

Yes, we suggest you provide your own slide box(es) when you drop off the samples.

 

What kind of slides are used for my project?

We always use plus slides for all the samples. The plus (+) slides are positively charged and coated with an adhesive that allows sections to attach to the slide more effectively.

 

What is required before I bring my bone samples to the lab?

Your samples must be grossed/cut and separated by the joint. They must be fixed at least 24 hours in 4% Paraformaldehyde (PFA) and be decalcified completely before submission.

 

Can I change my order after it has been submitted?

Yes, you may add or remove new services after submitting if your order has not already been completed. Just email us.

 

If I drop my samples off in a container, will I get that container back?

Yes, you can get that back when you pick up your samples.