Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology

: 2010  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 859--861

Simple and inexpensive technical methods in laboratories

Fatemeh Mahjoub, Zahra Omidi, Parisa Khalili, Saghar Sami 
 Department of Pathology, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Fatemeh Mahjoub
Department of Pathology, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, End of Keshavarz Boulevard, Tehran

How to cite this article:
Mahjoub F, Omidi Z, Khalili P, Sami S. Simple and inexpensive technical methods in laboratories.Indian J Pathol Microbiol 2010;53:859-861

How to cite this URL:
Mahjoub F, Omidi Z, Khalili P, Sami S. Simple and inexpensive technical methods in laboratories. Indian J Pathol Microbiol [serial online] 2010 [cited 2021 Sep 23 ];53:859-861
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Providing laboratory resources is a considerable financial burden for developing countries, since they cost a lot and are mostly supplied from western countries. To overcome this issue, in our laboratory, we have devised a number of simple and innovative methods which are sometimes even better than those using expensive equipment. Here, we introduce two simple methods for tissue handling in our surgical pathology laboratory.

Different laboratories have different practices for immunohistologic study of renal biopsy specimens. Many use immunofluorescent techniques on fresh frozen sections which are technically easy and have been used for a long time. [1]

We had to purchase 1000 disposable plastic containers for 1000 dollars, each container to be used once [Figure 1]. So, we thought of a simple and inexpensive method to prepare the tissue. We took a chocolate box with round spaces and filled the spaces with water mixed with methylene blue and put it in the deep freezer compartment of a domestic refrigerator [Figure 2]. The blue stain gives contrast to the tissue and makes sectioning easier. After freezing, the ice is taken out; renal biopsy is gently pressed into it [Figure 3] and left in isopentane for a few minutes [Figure 4]. Then they are taken out and either sectioned immediately or put in the freezer for further examination. The rounded blue ice with the embedded renal biopsy can be placed directly in the frozen chamber on the holder for sectioning.{Figure 1}{Figure 2}{Figure 3}{Figure 4}

Another example is in muscle biopsies which need to be promptly frozen in liquid nitrogen for studies such as biochemical analysis.[2] This can be done by plunging the whole biopsy needle with the sample in it straight into liquid nitrogen. [2] While we have open biopsies of muscle rather than needle biopsies, for very rapid freezing, we used to put small pieces of fresh muscle in the liquid nitrogen tank after taking out the holder from nitrogen container. This usually resulted in loss of nitrogen and sometimes even loss of the specimen in the tank. So we thought of a simple way to put the tissue in the tank quickly without taking the holder out. We attached a metal basket with a lid, to a long and strong string. We called this Omidi basket (invention of Ms. Omidi) [Figure 5]. The small piece of muscle was placed in this basket and sent into the container immediately. After a few minutes the basket was taken out using the string without any difficulties [Figure 6].{Figure 5}{Figure 6}

These two practical methods cost us almost nothing and are simple and easy to perform. Therefore, our recommendation is to adhere to these methods in resource poor countries.


1Howie AJ. Handbook of Renal biopsy. 2 nd ed. New York: Springer; 2008. p. 11-8.
2Sewry CA, Lane RJ, Dubowitz V. Muscle Biopsy: a practical approach. 3 rd ed. Elsevier Health Sciences; 2007. p. 9-13.